Wesley Snipes was an action star and comic book hero before the golden age of Marvel films had its current run. The Black action star, by the time he helmed the Blade trilogy, had already been a box office star, a run of films unparalleled by many of his peers. Wesley’s speaking on some nasty rumors that circulated previously about his on-set behavior from a fellow co-star.
In 2010, the Blade star was acquitted of felony federal tax fraud and conspiracy charges but convicted of willfully failing to file tax returns from the years 1999 to 2004. He attempted to appeal the case, the court refused, and he served three years — the maximum sentence — in a federal prison before he was released.
Wesley’s speaking up again on the perceived differences between White people and Black people in America, and how it’s easier to paint the Black guy as the problem.
Co-star of Blade: Trinity Patton Oswalt previously leveled some pretty heavy gossip the star’s way, which Snipes has just come around to addressing.
“We were in Vancouver and Wesley Snipes was going crazy and he wouldn’t come out of his trailer. And you’d walk by his trailer and this wall of a pot stench would just be like…whoa, and kind of push you to the side. And then he would…you, he would only answer to the name “Blade.” You, you couldn’t call him…only answered the “Blade,” yeah and after a while he was ordered to just give he would communicate with with post-its that he would give to the director, and each one he would sign “Blade,” Patton previously said on The Pete Holmes Show back in 2014.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Snipes weighed on the comments leveled at him over the years of being a “diva” and “difficult” on set, and waved them off as standard racially-motivated microaggressions and other forms of gaslighting that Black people experience in the entertainment industry.
“This is part of the challenges that we as African Americans face here in America — these microaggressions. The presumption that one white guy can make a statement and that statement stands as true! Why would people believe his version is true? Because they are predisposed to believing the Black guy is always the problem.”
“And all it takes is one person, Mr. Oswalt, who I really don’t know. I can barely remember him on the set, but it’s fascinating that his statement alone was enough to make people go: ‘Yeah, you know Snipes has got a problem.’”
At the end of the day, Snipes also reiterated the structure of Hollywood when it comes to talent, casting and producing. Snipes, unlike Oswalt, was the lead of the movie and according to him, had “contractual director approval,” which gave him more privilege and authority over the other actors in the film.
“I remind you that I was one of the executive producers of the project. I had contractual director approval. I was not just the actor for hire. I had authority to say, to dictate, to decide. This was a hard concept for a lot of people to wrap their heads around.”