Mark Wahlberg seems to regret ‘Boogie Nights’ more than his racist hate crimes

'Transformers The Last Knight' film premiere, London, UK

I’ll just lay down a series of factual statements. In 1988, Mark Wahlberg committed a series of violent hate crimes when he beat the hell out of two Asian men, leaving one of them blinded in one eye. They were hate crimes because Wahlberg repeatedly used racist slurs towards the two Vietnamese men. Wahlberg also had a history of using the n-word as he threw rocks at African-American schoolchildren. Wahlberg was in jail for a time, and when he got out, he fashioned a career for himself as the lead of something called the Funky Bunch. Then he was a model, and then an actor. One of his biggest breakout roles in the early part of his career was when Paul Thomas Anderson took a chance on him and cast him in the lead in Boogie Nights, where he played p0rn star Dirk Diggler.

Those are all facts about Wahlberg’s history. Guess what part of his history Wahlberg name-checked as a “poor choice”? The hate crimes or Boogie Nights?

It may have been a critical and commercial hit, but actor Mark Wahlberg says he’s prayed to God for forgiveness for his role in the 1997 movie “Boogie Nights.” Standing next to Cardinal Blase Cupich on Friday night in Chicago, Wahlberg, a committed Catholic, told Chicago Inc., “I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving, because I’ve made some poor choices in my past.”

Asked if he’d ever prayed for forgiveness for any movies in particular, he added, “‘Boogie Nights’ is up there at the top of the list.”

Wahlberg — who famously portrayed porn star Dirk Diggler in that 1970s-set film — was in Chicago to support Cupich’s effort to draw young people into the church. He told Inc. that he believed his own troubled adolescence, which included time spent in prison for a racist assault on a Vietnamese immigrant, might make it easier for Chicago youths caught up in violent crime to relate to how he turned his life around with the church’s help.

“I’ve never been shy about sharing my past and the bad decisions I’ve made and being affiliated with gangs, being incarcerated, so absolutely I think they can identify with me on a personal level, and that’s why I’ve continued to try to do as much as I can to help young people. It’s one thing to give money, or to start programs, but to be there and be able to talk to them, and tell them there is someone who has been through the same things they are going through and was able to turn their life around, and turn it into a big positive. That’s always important.”

Wahlberg, who in 2015 enjoyed an audience with Pope Francis, has previously come out in support of gay marriage. But he said he had not discussed the issue with Cupich, who despite a more nuanced line than his predecessor, toes the church line that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

“I haven’t spoken with the cardinal or the pope about that,” Wahlberg said. “I just think we have a lot more important issues to be worrying about. For me, I’ve got my own issues to deal with. … I go to confession and I want to continue to work hard on myself.”

A crowd of more than 1,000 worshippers joined Wahlberg and Cupich at the UIC Pavillion later Friday. Interviewed onstage between two ferns by Cupich (who, like Wahlberg, is one of nine siblings), Wahlberg told the audience he finds time to pray early every morning by going to bed at 7:30 pm at night. “This is way past my bedtime!” he said.

Being jailed as a teen, he added, was a “big wake-up call for me. A lot of people go to God when they get into trouble. When I heard the jail doors close behind me … I knew that was just the beginning for me. I feel remorse when I’ve made mistakes. If I could go back and change a lot of things that I did, I would. I look for ways to give back.”

[From The Chicago Tribune]

While it’s clear he was asked specifically about his regrets in regards to film roles in particular, I still believe that he shouldn’t even shade Boogie Nights. Mark Wahlberg built his f–king career off of Boogie Nights. He got some of the best reviews of his career for that, and directors all over the world sat up and took notice of him as a “real” actor. All that being said, if this is a Catholic event and the topic is redemption and regret, perhaps he should take pains to own up to his own f–ked up criminal history first and foremost. Like, does the church care about Boogie Nights more than the fact that he beat the sh-t out of two Vietnamese men?

Mark Wahlberg shows off his muscles while running errands in Beverly Hills

Photos courtesy of WENN and Backgrid.

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82 Responses to “Mark Wahlberg seems to regret ‘Boogie Nights’ more than his racist hate crimes”

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  1. Tiffany says:

    And blinded one of those men. Let us not forget that.

    What a douchebag.

  2. cleveland girl says:

    It is sad but true…the church probably condemns his actions on acting in BN more than his past criminal behavior. The only reasoning I can come up with to understand this is that he spent time in jail “repenting” for his behavior.
    The film was his choice, and they are probably mortified of the content in the film. Porn, drugs, murders…that movie was SO good.

    • denisemich says:

      Yup but Mark Wahlberg is still a douche.

      He regrets all the things that made him, boogie nights, marky mark and the calvin klein ad.

    • emma33 says:

      ITA, this is as much a commentary on the Catholic Church and their values as it is on him. Neither of them come out of it well, but I do think it’s good that he is talking about his past and trying to encourage other kids not to follow the same path.

    • Charlie says:

      Asked if he’d ever prayed for forgiveness for any movies in particular, he added, “‘Boogie Nights’ is up there at the top of the list.”

      I get that he was speaking to kids/young adults and this was meant to be light hearted, but the idea that this is what he prays for, and the prayer is one of forgiveness and not thanks giving. Ugh.

      Plus, what a dis to everyone else who worked on the movie.

    • Kit says:

      Has he not been in movies where he beats, shoots, kills people? And after seeing him on the Graham Norton Show, specifically with Sarah Silverman but other female guests as well, I get the impression there are a number of areas of his life where he doesn’t quite come up to scratch against the strict Catholic persona he’s trying to project.

  3. minx says:

    Hoo boy, he’s an arrogant little racist.
    Also he is homely AF. Short, bad skin, beady eyes. And this guy is a rich movie star.

  4. third ginger says:

    BOOGIE NIGHTS is a great film. Talk about your misplaced values!

  5. Katie says:

    Boogie Nights is the best thing he’s ever done.

    And lol at how he says he hasn’t brought up gay marriage with the pope, as though he totally could call him up to chat about it if he wanted to.

  6. Nicole says:

    Will never like Wahlberg for that reason.

    • ArchieGoodwin says:

      This, and his 9/11 comments.

      Then goes on to make that movie about the Boston Bombings. Guy has all kinds of serious issues.
      I’d hate to be in his head.

      Oh, also the comments about how he spanks his kids.

      I loathe him, along the lines of trump loathing.

  7. Monica says:

    Well the question wasn’t about his PERSONAL life was it, it was about his PROFESSIONAL career. I’ll give him a pass on this one.

  8. Mara says:

    I can’t even…how does this stuff make sense in his head?

  9. Laur says:

    Yeah pretty sure PORTRAYING someone whilst ACTING in a FILM is not going to be top of God’s list of concerns about you Mark…

    I feel like he talks the talk and says all the right things but his actions (never actually referring to the victims; trying to get the convictions wiped) speak louder than any of his fake apologies.

  10. QueenElisabeth says:

    I hope he also asks God’s forgiveness for presuming that if he had been on one of the flights he could have stopped 9/11


  11. Sixer says:

    “someone who has been through the same things they are going through”

    BEEN THROUGH? GOING THROUGH? Nice way to describe the state of being a convicted violent racist. These people should not be allowed to use the passive voice. It’s a crime against language and responsibility.

  12. Lucy2 says:

    He’s awful.
    Don’t forget he tried to have those crimes removed from his record for his own benefit.

    • Eliza says:


      He says he owns his past, but usually avoids talking about it, and tried to have it legally erased.

      He blinded someone for simply existing and not being white, and went to jail as he was found guilty by his peers. But he’s rich now, so it’s like it never happened right?

    • Angel says:

      Slight misunderstanding. He attempted to be pardoned. Not have his record erased.

      After certain crimes, for years, a person cannot hold certain jobs, volunteer with certain organizations (scouts for instence) or travel out of the country. After a length of time with no further criminal incidents a person can apply to be able to be able do any of the above. In no way is their record erased. This is a perfectly legal and common procedure.

      Moreover people who have served their time have to be able to get back thier lives, or we really will have sub group of people living like outlaws, unable to fully work or live. As a society we may prefer to see more remorse but that is not really a term of their release.

  13. Indiana Joanna says:

    No, I would guess that many of the “executives” in the Catholic Church don’t care about the brutal beatings but the portrayal of a male porn star would raise their hackles (but they may secretly love it).

  14. Scal says:

    Don’t forget the whole ‘if I had been on the plane 9/11 would have never happened BS’

    He stinks and has for decades

  15. JustJen says:

    If he’s going to apologize for a movie, it should be Fear. At least in BN, all the characters were consenting adults.

  16. LittlefishMom says:

    I see him and one word comes to mind- asshole. Can’t stand this guy. Arrogant jerk.

  17. PPP says:

    Oh, FUCK him. Boogie Nights is objectively the best film he’s ever been in or will ever be in, and it’s the one that launched his career. Even if he feels Catholic Guilt about displaying the body that God gave him, the Christian thing to do is not to bring down the people that gave him a career. I hate this guy so much– he’s the same one that was whining he couldn’t get a license to open a restaurant because of his hate crimes. Well, he still managed to open that Whalburgers piece of shit because white male entitlement knows no bounds. Fingers crossed women come out of the woodwork with stories about this mush-faced piece of garbage, maybe people will care about white women than innocent little black girls.

  18. Mia4s says:

    God might forgive you for Boogie Nights, but you’ll never be forgiven for those Transformers movies. Not even Jesus has that much mercy. 😏

    Seriously though Mark is such an ass.

  19. I can’t with Mark Wahlberg and his Catholicism for show.

  20. i don't know her says:

    *shouts* he regrets “boogie nights” more than ” transformers the last knight”!!!????
    *stands up walks out out of room*

  21. Anon says:

    This is a surprise?! Yeah not so much……..

  22. EOA says:

    Interestingly, Cardinal Cupich is considered pretty progressive in the Catholic Church.

    I am not going to give Wahlberg any grief for this. Everyone’s spiritual journey is different and I feel really uncomfortable judging anyone on what they feel regret for. I have also spent years of my life being publicly critical of the Church while also considering myself Catholic and it bugs me how much ignorance there is of the Church.

    That being said, I do hope he has asked God for forgiveness for the violence in his past AND his victims.

  23. Merritt says:

    Is anyone actually surprised that he is not regretful of his past hate crimes? He has never done anything to show remorse.

  24. PeaceOut says:

    He should be thankful for that role otherwise we would only remember him being Marky-Mark lol

  25. Ang says:

    I loved Boogie Nights!! Still do.

  26. island_girl says:

    In today’s climate Mark doesn’t have to show fake remorse for his racism. This is Trumps america.

  27. detritus says:

    He always reminds me of Channing Tatum. If you removed all the good parts.

  28. Lolo86lf says:

    Mark Walhberg is a product of his upbringing, his environment. Growing up in South Boston which is predominantly Irish shaped his racist hatred-fill youth. That is why he assaulted those two Asian men. His upbringing is no way an excuse for committing any hate crime. A few years ago he applied to become a reserve police officer in Los Angeles and he got turned down because of his criminal record.

  29. Harryg says:

    I can’t stand him and I’ll never understand why he’s a star.

  30. SK says:

    This is so typical of the hypocrisy of so many people. And on top of his hideous hate crimes and racism, let’s not forget that AFTER he was released from jail and “found God” he then proceeded to party like a maniac and sleep with as many women as he could possibly manage. Entourage was based on his early life in the business FFS. So you know, he regrets the role that made him because it’s about porn – even though that was ACTING, but his real life behaviour of man-whoring around and probably treating women like objects or even less is not discussed.

  31. Turtle says:

    Funny how when people embrace the Church they tend to become more rigid and judgmental and preachy, rather than more compassionate, generous and forgiving.

  32. Tanya says:

    I cannot stand his ass. Little prick!

  33. Fleurucci says:

    Violent disfiguring hate crimes*

  34. Mina says:

    To be fair to MW, he’s talked extensively about his regret of his past and I know he’s done a lot of work with vulnerable youth to avoid paths like the one he went on. So is he not allowed to say what movie of his he doesn’t like when asked that specific question? Does he have to answer every question with a reference to what he did? Which he still mentioned, by the way, at the end of what’s quoted.

    I know people think that once a racist always a racist, but that’s not true. Racism is a learned behavior and it can be unlearned. Hopefully Wahlberg is honest when he says he’s changed.

    • Pandy says:

      Wow, I had to go to the last comment to find someone not burying him alive. Yes, to your pints. Seems to me he is mentioning his criminal past and talking about how he tries to atone for it. And BN was in response to a specific question then he seemed to direct back to personally representing as someone who has spent time in jail. Yeah, he makes crap movies and had a violent racist past BUT he seems to be owning it and working on it. So, I have to give him a bit of a pass for that.

  35. KiddVicious says:

    I can’t with people who need God to tell them how to behave.

  36. Avery says:

    You know Marky Mark is a trump supporter.

  37. ALF-M says:

    Leo DiCaprio was supposed to Star in Boogie Nights and for either scheduling reasons, etc. he couldn’t play Dirk. Mark had been in the Basketball Diaries with Leo and Leo suggested to give Mark a chance to PTA. If it wasn’t for Boogie Nights, which is an amazing work of art, the fact that PTA and entire cast helped elevate his performance skills, he would never have gotten the roles and producing opportunities he has today. It’s his best acting as far as I’m concerned. 20 years later and now he’s publically coming out feeling “Catholic Guilt” about a movie about the 70’s era of porn? Sex is bad, but making violent movies where he kills people is ok with the church wth?

    • Mina says:

      Okay, first I can’t believe this needs to be said but I’m pretty sure he was joking when talking about asking forgiveness for Boogie Nights. He’s also asked the Pope to forgive him for the Ted movies, and I’m sure that’s also a joke.

      And second, Boogie Nights is most definitely not about sex, so even if he’s being serious I doubt that would be his problem with that movie. It’s a story about a pretty sick side of a particular industry, filled with drugs, crime and mysoginy, sex is the least of BN’s themes.