Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Creative Commons
Simu Liu is facing backlash after he deleted a tweet criticizing Mark Wahlberg, following an announcement that the two actors would be starring in a movie together, reports DailyMail.
Liu took to Twitter in 2018 to condemn Wahlberg after he sought a pardon for an assault on two Vietnamese men in 1988. Just 16 at the time, the actor and brother of Donnie Wahlberg attacked the two men while trying to steal alcohol from a convenience store.
In the now-deleted tweet, Liu said, “Let me get this straight, Mark Wahlberg beat a helpless Vietnamese man with a stick until he passed out when he was 16, and is attempting to get the courts to grant him an official pardon on the basis that he’s ‘turned his life around’?”
After Liu shared an article announcing he would be starring in Arthur the King alongside Wahlberg, social media users quickly noticed that he had deleted the tweet. Many began posting screenshots of the tweet and criticizing Liu for appearing to “sell out” or backtrack on his previous stance.
Others expressed disappointment in Liu, who has previously been outspoken on issues of racism against Asian Americans.
Liu has since responded to the backlash, admitting that he did delete the tweet but did so in order to “have progressive conversations and take positive action instead of just hurling stones.”
Liu’s response, however, was met with skepticism, as many continued to question his motivations and how he intends to conduct these “progressive conversations.” Others pointed out that Wahlberg has a history of hate crimes, citing a separate incident where the actor chased a group of Black children while yelling racial slurs.
Liu later posted a full statement on Instagram following the backlash, stating that he sees his character in Arthur the King as “undoubtedly a positive representation of an Asian man” and chose to delete the tweet “as a gesture of professionalism.”
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