Mark Wahlberg could’ve foreseen the awkward moment that unfolded live at the SAG Awards — courtesy of his ugly criminal history with 2 Asian men — so says one writer, who cringed upon seeing it.
We talked to Jeff Yang, an Asian-American WSJ columnist, who was one of many who commented on the Wahlberg moment Sunday — and he told us MW was simply the wrong guy to present the cast of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” the final statuette of the night.
The reason … back when Mark was a teenager in Boston, he pled guilty to assaulting 2 Vietnamese immigrants as he and others shouted racial epithets. He was convicted and served 45 days behind bars.
In light of that terrible stain, JY says Mark should’ve had better intuition and turned down the gig … especially considering ‘EEAAO’ was considered a lock to win, and because it obviously wouldn’t look good onstage — which, according to the vast majority, it didn’t.
Jeff does say it’s possible Mark simply didn’t know ‘Everywhere’ would win … and if he did, perhaps he took the presenter job as an unspoken olive branch to the AAPI community.
While it’s certainly plausible, Jeff tells us he truly doesn’t think it’s likely — and that this was probably a tone-deaf decision on everyone’s part … especially because, in Jeff’s mind, Mark hasn’t really gone out of his way to correct the brutal wrong from his teen years.
Worth noting … he has issued apologies, including back in 2014, when he unsuccessfully tried to get pardon.
Bottom line for Jeff … the optics were terrible, and they could’ve (and probably should’ve) been anticipated. With that said, ‘EEAAO’ continues to fly high — next stop, the Oscars!