All things considered, it's a good time to be Simu Liu. The Canadian actor got a blockbuster-sized big break recently when he was cast as the lead in Marvel’s martial arts film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He’s also been bonding with the Avengers by ranking high in the AGBO Superhero Fantasy Football League and was recently cast in a dog movie with Mark Wahlberg. In light of the pair becoming co-stars in Arthur the King, Wahlberg’s troubling past has come back to haunt Liu.
When Mark Wahlberg was fifteen years old, before he was a working actor, the Spencer Confidential star was charged with chasing three Black children and pelting them with rocks while yelling racial slurs until an ambulance driver intervened. Two years later, in 1988, Wahlberg knocked two Vietnamese men unconscious with a wooden stick and called them racial slurs, all while under the influence of PCP. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but only ended up serving 45 days.
Back in 2018, Simu Liu took to Twitter to hold Wahlberg accountable for his actions. But after the Kim’s Convenience star was cast in Arthur the King with Mark Wahlberg, he has since deleted his statements. The internet took notice and Liu has now addressed why with these words:
I deleted a couple of tweets I made regarding the past actions of one of my costars as a gesture of professionalism and to open to door to progressive conversations and (hopefully) positive change. Obviously it'd be pretty weird to go to work with that tweet still up. I meant what I said in the moment; I was very angry hearing about what happened. But that doesn't mean I don't think there's room to grow and work together to find an opportunity to educate and do some good- which I'm excited to do in addition to shooting the movie. Progressive discussion will lead to dialogue, and dialogue will lead to action.
Simu Liu made the statement on his Instagram in addition to explaining what drew him to Arthur the King. The actor said he “adored” the script written by Wanted scribe Michael Brandt. Liu is a dog lover himself and loved the story about “how a dog changed the lives of four adventure racers in the forests of Ecuador.” He also showed his excitement to bring some positive representation to the Asian community. Here’s one initial reaction to Liu’s decision to delete his tweet:
Simu Liu is an avid social media user and responded to some of the criticisms being posed about him by restating his intentions to “take positive action” instead of shutting himself out of an opportunity and turning away from the conversation all together. Here’s how one Twitter user responded:
Simu Liu has been placed in a bit of a tough spot, but not everyone is opposed to how he handled the situation. One Twitter user brought up that perhaps the fingers should be pointed at Mark Wahlberg, who committed the crimes at the center of discussion here and has since attempted to seek pardon from his criminal record for his actions:
Arthur the King is reportedly set to begin filming in the Dominican Republic in January. Simu Liu recently wrapped filming Shang-Chi ahead of its release date on July 16, 2021, and Mark Wahlberg wrapped work on Uncharted with Tom Holland, which comes just one week later on July 16, 2021. Check out what else is coming out in the new year with CinemaBlend’s 2021 release schedule.