Mark Wahlberg is now being accused of trying to edit his own Wikipedia page after his history of hate crimes resurfaced this weekend. Wahlberg tried to throw his support behind the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter on Thursday, but social media quickly brought up the three hate crimes he was convicted of as a teenager. With all eyes on his online biography, some claimed they saw suspicious changes to his Wikipedia page.
Wahlberg is known as a pop star turned action movie star to most, but fans did not have to dig deep to find evidence of his past racism this weekend. As many people were shocked to find, Wahlberg's Wikipedia page has an entire section titled "Hate Crimes," detailing his violent harassment of African American children on a Massachusetts beach in 1986 and his two assaults on Vietnamese American men in 1988. It also described his attempt to get a formal pardon for these crimes and the controversy around that attempt. All of this cast a shadow over his tweet about George Floyd on Thursday.
As the backlash built, users were surprised to see changes emerging on Wahlberg's Wikipedia page. The "Hate Crimes" section was changed to read, "Controversy." It was also moved further down into the web page, becoming a sub-heading rather than a section unto itself. The section has been changed again at the time of this writing to be titled "Racial Incidents."
The contents of the section have been slightly changed as well, though all still draw from the same primary citations as before. The entry now specifies Wahlberg's age at the time of each incident — he was 15 years old in 1986 and 17 years old in 1988. It also notes that Wahlberg was "high on PCP" when he assaulted two Vietnamese American men in one day, screaming racial epithets the entire time.
Despite these edits, the entry currently still includes condemnations from one of the African American children Wahlberg attacked and from one of the prosecutors against him, Judith Beals. In 2018, Beals told The Washington Post: "Wahlberg has never acknowledged the racial nature of his crimes," adding: "a formal public pardon would highlight all too clearly that if you are white and a movie star, a different standard applies. Is that really what Wahlberg wants?"
Critics speculate that this sudden editing of an old Wikipedia entry might have been done by Wahlberg himself, or someone on his team. The edits appear to be contested by Wikipedia's vast network of moderators as well, as the "Racial Incidents" section now has a warning at the top, showing that it was altered in June of 2020.
So far, Wahlberg and his representatives have not commented on the Wikipedia edits, according to a report by The Blast. Wahlberg's "Black Lives Matter" post remains up on Twitter, even as condemnations continue to pour into the replies.