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Mark Wahlberg's 9/11 gaffe: 'I was there to talk about the movie'

January 20, 2012 |  5:32 pm

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg has apologized and apologized again for ill-considered remarks about what he might do if he were on one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

On Friday, the "Contraband" star put a little context around his remarks, and his apologies -- and described the role of the journalist who conducted the interview in question.

"Because of the fact that I had a reservation on one of those flights, it's always a topic of conversation," Walhberg noted in a chat with WPLJ-95.5 radio's morning team, coming off 13 hours of work.

This past week, with the release of promotional blurbs for the Men's Journal interview in which he made the comments, "I got blindsided by the fact that people thought I was being disrespectful to the victims of 9/11 and that was, to me, a horrific thing and i wanted to address it right away," Wahlberg said. Hence, the quick apologies.

The gaffe, for those who missed it? "If I was on that plane with my kids," Wahlberg told the magazine, "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.'"

So how did those ill-considered words make their way out of his mouth?

"I've got this journalist who's asking all the questions, and I'm trying to promote a movie and he's asking me, you know, about sex and this and that and I'm like, dude, I've got a wife and four kids and this is not appropriate. ... It wasn't a Q&A, it wasn't like all of a sudden I decided I was going to get on this soapbox and talk about my opinion about 9/11. I was there to talk about the movie," Wahlberg explained.

Before the radio interview aired, several families of 9/11 victims told the New York Post they thought an apology was great, but that Wahlberg should use the opportunity to publicly visit the 9/11 Memorial and possibly help with fundraising for the memorial and museum.

On Wednesday, Wahlberg told TMZ, "To speculate about such a situation is ridiculous to begin with," adding, "I deeply apologize to the families of the victims that my answer came off as insensitive, it was certainly not my intention."


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— Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Mark Wahlberg at the 69th Golden Globe Awards show Sunday. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times