Mark Wahlberg apologizes for 'irresponsible' 9/11 comments

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Mark Wahlberg has learned the hard way: Just leave 9/11 alone.

The star of the new movie "Contraband" found himself starring in a 9/11 controversy this week when he revealed that he had been scheduled to fly on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center -- and suggested that he could have single-handedly prevented the tragedy.

"If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn't have went down like it did. 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.'"

The comments, made to Men's Journal in a cover story article, met with swift criticism. It seemed especially cruel considering that the passengers on another hijacked jetliner -- United Flight 93 -- did indeed rise up against the terrorists, sacrificing their own lives and crash-landing near Shanksville, Pa., rather than allow the plane to fly into a target in the nation's capital.

Now, Wahlberg is trying to leave those 9/11 magazine comments on the cutting room floor, telling TMZ, "I deeply apologize to the families of the victims that my answer came off as insensitive, it was certainly not my intention."

He added: "To suggest I would have done anything differently than the passengers on that plane was irresponsible."

Many Americans likely tried to put themselves in that 9/11 scenario, imagining themselves getting the upper hand or taking revenge on the terrorists. But for Wahlberg to suggest that he could have somehow single-handedly stopped the hijacking, and then landed the plane safely in Manhattan (perhaps a la Captain Sully Sullenberger)? For many people, that was just too much.

And so Wahlberg become the latest celebrity to wade into treacherous 9/11 waters. Among them: Tony Bennett, Rosie O'Donnell and Jesse Ventura

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-- Rene Lynch

Photo: Mark Wahlberg. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times 

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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