Mark Wahlberg recently explained why his new film, Father Stu, directly opposes cancel culture.
In an interview with Faithwire promoting the upcoming film, Wahlberg declared, “This movie has a very clear message that we are not going to give up on people.”
He elaborated, “We are not going to turn our backs on people because of mistakes that they’ve made. We are going to tell people and encourage people that nobody is beyond redemption and that we support you, we love you, we accept you for who you are.”
Faithwire’s Tré Goins-Phillips then noted, “Part of why cancel culture is so toxic is because, as Wahlberg said, “there’s nothing worse than when somebody realizes that people don’t care,” because it causes them to “lose hope and have no faith.”
In contrast, Wahlberg says, “You cannot give up on people.”
The actor then observed, “And people are so quick to turn their backs on people. And negativity as a whole has just been amplified in a way that it’s really hard to remind people of the importance of loving and supporting people. People can do incredible things.”
Wahlberg would also detail why he decided to make Father Stu, which he invested his own money in to make, ““I’m kind of doing all this not to continue to grow my career, but to utilize my career for good and to do God’s work.”
He elaborated, “If this is a movie that really changes people’s lives and motivates them and inspires them to do great things — you know, all I really gotta do is convert one person, and I get to go through the pearly gates.”
“So If I can continue to do that in a major way, remaining humble and just doing it for all the right reasons, then I would much rather have that be my legacy than being the biggest box office star in the world,” he professed.
“I would like to have a legacy that I had a positive impact on some people,” Wahlberg concluded.
Wahlberg made similar comments while talking to Fox News’ Raymond Arroyo.
He told Arroyo, “That’s why the scene in the prison was so important to me and the most pivotal because it’s about not giving up. It’s about not giving up.”
When asked to describe the scene, Wahlberg says, “Well, he’s a pretty harsh with them, but he speaks their language. Stu sees himself in all of those prisoners. It could have easily been his life. He was on that track for quite some time.”
“And he just basically says, ‘That with all the stuff going on with your family and everything else, God is not going to give up on you. Don’t you dare go giving up on yourself.’ And he’s challenging them to turn their lives around. You know it’s never too late. As long as you’re breathing you have an opportunity to redeem yourself,” Wahlberg detailed.
Arroyo would then ask, “Do you think we as a people, as a society that we are too quick to judge and drop people into boxes and cancel them over one offense, one problem, one moment in their lives?”
Wahlberg responded, “Yeah, especially when you have stuff in your own closet that you have to worry about. For me personally, I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I have been focused since I was 16, 17 years old turning my life around and that is a daily task that I have to continue to work on.”
“We all have our moments. It is not my place to judge. And I know that all the work that I am doing is to hopefully, hopefully when it’s my day to be judged that I get a pass and I get to go, I get to go up,” he said.
When asked why Father Stu is needed now, Wahlberg replied, “People need to have faith and hope. Young men need to know what it’s like to be a real man.”
“And you could list a million reasons – just turn on the news, anywhere you look there are reasons for encouraging people to have faith and have hope,” he added.
The official description for Father Stu reads, “Based on a true story, Father Stu is an unflinchingly honest, funny and ultimately uplifting drama about a lost soul who finds his purpose in a most unexpected place. When an injury ends his amateur boxing career, Stuart Long (Mark Wahlberg) moves to L.A. dreaming of stardom.”
It continues, “While scraping by as a supermarket clerk, he meets Carmen (Teresa Ruiz), a Catholic Sunday school teacher who seems immune to his bad-boy charm. Determined to win her over, the longtime agnostic starts going to church to impress her.”
“But surviving a terrible motorcycle accident leaves him wondering if he can use his second chance to help others find their way — and leads to the surprising realization that he is meant to be a Catholic priest. Despite a devastating health crisis and the skepticism of Church officials and his estranged parents (Mel Gibson and Jacki Weaver), Stu pursues his vocation with courage and compassion, inspiring not only those closest to him but countless others along the way,” the description concludes.
The film arrives in theaters on April 13, 2022.
What do you make of Wahlberg’s comments about cancel culture, forgiveness, and redemption?