Mark Wahlberg apologizes for 9/11 comments

Actor Mark Wahlberg attends the nominees luncheon for the 83rd annual Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, California February 7, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Mark Wahlberg apologized on Wednesday for saying events may have turned out differently had he been on one of the planes that crashed on 9/11, after incurring the wrath of critics and one victim’s widow.

“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 actor said in an interview with Men’s Journal magazine that was released one day earlier.

“The Fighter” star, 44, was scheduled to be on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2011 and made the comments in that context, but after media outlets reported that a widow of one 9/11 victim called his comments “disrespectful,” the actor issued a formal apology.

“To speculate about such a situation is ridiculous to begin with, and to suggest I would have done anything differently than the passengers on that plane was irresponsible. I deeply apologize to the families of the victims that my answer came off as insensitive, it was certainly not my intention,” Wahlberg said in a statement.

The Oscar-nominated actor, who started his career in music as rapper Marky Mark, transitioned into film and is currently promoting “Contraband,” a high-octane action movie in which he plays a former smuggler forced to protect his brother-in-law.

Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte