Simu Liu Defends Deleting Tweet About Costar Mark Wahlberg's Past Assault Against Asian Men

Simu Liu is responding to critics slamming him for deleting his tweet about Mark Wahlberg as he signs on to work with Wahlberg for an upcoming movie.

Over the weekend, trade publications reported that Liu had signed on to work with Wahlberg on a new adventure movie, Arthur the King. Many commenters criticized Liu, who previously spoke out against Wahlberg in a 2018 tweet for the assaults he committed against two Vietnamese men in 1988.

When Wahlberg was 16, he was convicted as an adult of assault and other charges stemming from a convenience store robbery. He was sentenced to three months in jail but was released after serving about 45 days.

In an Instagram post over the weekend, the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings actor Liu said that he signed on to work with Wahlberg because he "absolutely adored the script," and hopes that he can facilitate "progressive conversations" with Wahlberg, 49.

"I signed on to Arthur the King because I absolutely adored the script, which tells the beautiful story of how a dog changed the lives of four adventure racers in the forests of Ecuador," Liu, 31, wrote. "Especially having been a dog dad until last year, it hit me straight in the feels. I was and am very passionate about bringing this story to the screen, and playing a character that is undoubtedly a positive representation of an Asian man."

"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," he added. "Obviously it'd be pretty weird to go to work with that tweet still up."

In 2014, Wahlberg requested to be pardoned for the crime, noting in the application that he turned his life around and became a successful music artist, actor and film and television producer. He also mentioned that he has raised millions of dollars for charity and donated his time and efforts for philanthropic causes.

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The request proved controversial, with his victims saying they were divided on whether the actor should be pardoned. Ultimately, his request was dropped in 2016 when Wahlberg never responded to a letter asking if he wished to keep his petition open.

Two years later, Liu, who was born in China and grew up in Canada, shared a tweet slamming Wahlberg for requesting the pardon.

"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'?" Liu wrote in the since deleted tweet, according to Digital Spy.

In his Instagram post over the weekend, Liu insisted that he "meant" what he said in that tweet.

"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," Liu wrote.

"Progressive discussion will lead to dialogue, and dialogue will lead to action," he added. "Anyway; hope everyone is staying safe and healthy this holiday! Trying to stay positive in an otherwise jubilant and celebratory time, and I just wanted to share my thoughts."

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