Photo Credit: Ray Tamarra/FilmMagic
Mark Wahlberg was scheduled to be on one of the hijacked 9/11 planes, before he changed his flight to attend the Toronto Film Festival. That makes him incredibly lucky in our books -- but apparently, in his own mind, it was a missed opportunity to be an American hero. In a recent interview with Men's Journal, the actor claimed that he could have prevented the World Trade Center crash if he'd been on that fatal flight.
"If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn't have went down like it did," said Wahlberg, 40. "There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, 'OK, we're going to land somewhere safely, don't worry.'"
So if the 9/11 passengers had been more like Mark Wahlberg, they could have foiled a group of armed terrorists and safely landed the plane? What, because he starred in a few action movies? That's some illogical thinking right there, and deeply disrespectful to the real heroes of that tragic day -- like Thomas Burnett, one of the passengers who rushed the cockpit to prevent Flight 93 from reaching Washington, D.C.
"It's insignificant to say what you would have done if you weren't there," Burnett's widow, Deena Burnett-Bailey, told TMZ. "The plan for Flight 93 was foiled by heroes. For him to speculate that his presence on board could have stopped everything is silly and disrespectful. Sounds like someone is grandstanding."
Following the backlash, the Contraband star released an apology to the families he'd offended.
"To suggest I would have done anything differently than the passengers on that plane was irresponsible," Wahlberg tells People. "I deeply apologize to the families of the victims that my answer came off as insensitive. It was certainly not my intention."
Hopefully, Wahlberg realized how ill-advised his comments were as soon as he saw them in print. But he may still have some apologizing left to do. In that same Men's Journal interview, Wahlberg says he enjoys going out on dates with his wife, "as long as it isn't a Sarah Jessica Parker movie." Perhaps SJP is getting a nice bouquet of flowers from Mark right now...