Fact Check

Mark Wahlberg Refused To Work with Tom Hanks on $65M Movie?

According to one story, Wahlberg called Hanks a "woke creep."

Published April 19, 2024

 (Getty Images)
Image courtesy of Getty Images
In April 2024, a news article accurately reported that actor Mark Wahlberg had stepped away from a $65 million project because he thought his co-star Tom Hanks was a "woke creep."

On Jan. 24, 2024, Esspots.com published an article positing that the actor Mark Wahlberg had stepped away from a movie co-starring Tom Hanks, calling the latter a "woke creep." The article read as follows:

Breaking: Mark Wahlberg Bows Out of $65 Million Project with Tom Hanks, "What A Woke Creep"

In a move that has sent shockwaves through Hollywood, Mark Wahlberg has reportedly pulled out of a $65 million project, refusing to work alongside Tom Hanks. Wahlberg's reason? "What a woke creep." This bombshell has left the entertainment industry reeling, with insiders and fans alike scratching their heads in bewilderment.

It was posted to the site's associated Facebook page, SpaceX Fanclub, on Feb. 4, 2024, to little fanfare. However, websites that repost news articles word-for-word, like Owara.info, stole the Esspots.com article. A Snopes reader asked us to fact-check the article after seeing a link to the Owara.info article on Facebook.

None of the article was real—SpaceX Fanclub's introduction section reads "We post SATIRE, nothing on this page is real." Similarly, Esspots.com, the site where the article was first posted, is a self-described "one-stop destination for satirical news and commentary about the United States of America." The site clarifies this on its about page:

Welcome to the US page of Esspots (A Subsidiary of SpaceXMania.com specializing in Satire and Parody News), your one-stop destination for satirical news and commentary about the United States of America. Our team of writers and editors is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest in fake news and absurdity, all with a healthy dose of humor and satire.

On this page, you can expect to find all sorts of hilarious stories and parodies about US politics, culture, and society. From outrageous conspiracy theories to outlandish political stunts, we've got it all covered.

Of course, Snopes always recommends taking five minutes or so to try and figure out if an article is a real news story or not, but here's a few things we've noticed that might raise red flags. Satire sites like Esspots publish headlines like they're celebrity gossip tabloids, oftentimes claiming that two celebrities are or aren't working with each other on a project. These claims often involve unrealistic amounts of money (like Paramount putting up $500 million for a sitcom), and a rationale for a team up (or in the case of the Wahlberg-Hanks claim, a split up) based around politics, in particular someone being "too woke." Celebrities with massive public relations agencies that have extensive media training are rarely among those who use the term.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.



"About Us." Esspots, https://esspots.com/about-us/. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.
Breaking" $65 Million Blockbuster Project Canceled: Mark Wahlberg's Shocking Reason - Owara. 8 Apr. 2024, https://owara.info/breaking-65-million-blockbuster-project-canceled-mark-wahlbergs-shocking-reason/.
Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/SpaceX6683/posts/mark-wahlbergs-decision-to-step-away-from-the-65-million-project-with-tom-hanks-/907614338036200/. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.
Liles, Jordan. "'Non-Woke': Roseanne Barr and Tim Allen Joined Forces to Form New Actors Guild?" Snopes, 10 Apr. 2024, https://www.snopes.com//fact-check/roseanne-barr-tim-allen-actors-guild/.
Log in or Sign up to View. https://www.facebook.com/login/. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.
PerryCook, Taija. "Paramount+ Offered Jerry Seinfeld and Michael Richards $500M for New Sitcom?" Snopes, 18 Apr. 2024, https://www.snopes.com//fact-check/paramount-offered-500m-for-sitcom/.
Rascouët-Paz, Anna. "Tim Allen and Dave Chappelle Will Present 'Un-Woke' Comedy Show?" Snopes, 8 Apr. 2024, https://www.snopes.com//fact-check/tim-allen-dave-chappelle-un-woke-comedy-show/.
Robin, Alex. "Breaking: Mark Wahlberg Bows Out of $65 Million Project with Tom Hanks, 'What A Woke Creep.'" Esspots, 27 Jan. 2024, https://esspots.com/breaking-mark-wahlberg-bows-out-of-65-million-project-with-tom-hanks-what-a-woke-creep12/.

Jack Izzo is a Chicago-based journalist and two-time "Jeopardy!" alumnus.