Mark Wahlberg, Craig Ferguson reflect on Boston tragedy
Celebrity tweets call for prayers for city and victims of bombings
Boston natives Ben Affleck and Mark Wahlberg are among the celebrities sending messages to the city in Twitter posts or verbal tributes to the victims of Boston Marathon bombings.
Two explosions rocked the finish line of the marathon on Monday afternoon, killing three and injuring more than 176 others. On Tuesday, the FBI said it is co-ordinating a "worldwide investigation" into the blasts.
A somber Wahlberg appeared at the New York premiere of his movie Pain and Gain, but his heart was elsewhere.
"I really didn't even want to come tonight. I hadn't really heard much — I spoke to my mom, and most of my family seems to be OK," he told reporters.
"It's such a big event, there's so many people there. It's horrible man. It's disgusting, man. I just — I'm very upset," said Wahlberg, who was born and raised in Boston and began his career there as rapper Marky Mark.
"You try to put everything in God's hands and whatever happens here is out of our control and there's a bigger picture. But it's still obviously upsetting," he continued.
His older brother Donnie Wahlberg was nervous when he couldn't contact his New Kids On The Block bandmate Joey McIntyre, who was running in the marathon. It turned out McIntyre managed to miss the blast by crossing the finish line just five minutes before the first explosion.
About 23,000 runners took part in the race, which attracts more than 500,000 spectators and finishes up in the heart of central Boston.
Twitter posts from Affleck, Oprah
Affleck, who grew up in Cambridge, part of the Greater Boston area, wrote on his Twitter feed: "Such a senseless and tragic day. My family and I send our love to our beloved and resilient Boston."
Many other celebs posted tweets urging prayers for Boston, among them Justin Timberlake, Courteney Cox, Pink, and Diddy.
"'All Americans stand with the people of Boston' – indeed we do Mr. President," Oprah Winfrey wrote on Twitter, quoting Barack Obama’s speech yesterday about the incident.
On late night television, Craig Ferguson skipped his usual comedy routine to address the bomb blasts in his monologue, saying he has "a personal connection" to Boston.
Craig Ferguson on his Boston connection
"People say to me ‘Craig, your job is to make people laugh at the end of the day.’ And I think, yes, that’s true, but I’ve never professed to be any damn good at that. And, the thing is, people want their mind taken off it. And I think, well OK, if you want your mind taken off it, you know, watch a cartoon or a video or something. I understand it, it’s perfectly acceptable. I don’t think it’s a terrible thing to not want to think about it, but I can’t not think about it," he said.
Ferguson went on to talk about his history with Boston.
"When I became an American citizen in 2008, I spoke at Faneuil Hall on July 4, at the invitation of Tommy Menino who is the mayor of Boston, and one of the more colourful characters in American politics…. I’ve been there for the Fourth of July many times… and every cop in Boston looks like I’m his brother… My first stand up special in America, I shot it in Boston. I like that town. I’m appalled by this thing and when I watch it on these streets that I know, it’s horrifying," he said.
Actor-comedian Patton Oswalt, known for roles in such films as Young Adult and Pixar’s Ratatouille, wrote a post for his Facebook page that was rapidly reposted.
Oswalt reflected that the culprit behind Monday’s explosions is "one human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths," and a very small minority compared to those who do good in the world.
"You watch the videos of the carnage are there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help," Oswalt pointed out. "When you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.’ "