One of the most telling offshoots of the New York Times‘ recent report about Trump’s stunning tax avoidance and hairstyling writeoffs turned out to be people thinking a lot about how Wesley Snipes did not get away with not paying taxes. In fact, Snipes spent three years in prison on misdemeanor charges (he was acquitted of the felony counts), but the Blade star would like to point out that definitely did not go to jail for other claims made against him regarding alleged behavior while making Blade: Trinity.
Yes, that’s a bizarre seque, but Snipes is pushing back at resurfaced claims about what Patton Oswalt said that he witnessed while making the 2004 threequel. During a 2014 discussion with comedian Pete Holmes, Oswalt cited a “wall of pot stench” coming out of Snipes’ trailer, along with the claim that “he would only answer to the name ‘Blade’” while largely communicating via Post-its. Oswalt remained amazed, years later, at Blade: Trinity surfacing in theaters — he joked that it was more accomplished than Citizen Kane simply for existing because, allegedly, Snipes was “going crazy” and acting like a diva on set. No refutation from Snipes’ camp arrived after that discussion, and everyone laughed along with Patton’s accounts, which yeah, people found very funny.
However, Snipes recently sat down with The Guardian, where a more serious claim resurfaced as read by journalist Simon Hattenstone. As Snipes reacted to what he heard (and it must be noted this next quote made waves when Oswalt spoke with the AV Club in 2012), things grew contentious:
I ask if I can read him a quote about his behaviour on the set of Blade: Trinity to see if he thinks it is fair. “Yes, yes, yes, which one is this?” It’s from the actor and comedian Patton Oswalt, I say. “A reliable authority on me,” he replies sarcastically.
I read the quote: “Wesley was just fucking crazy in a hilarious way… he tried to strangle [director] David Goyer.”
“Let me tell you one thing. If I had tried to strangle David Goyer, you probably wouldn’t be talking to me now. A black guy with muscles strangling the director of a movie is going to jail, I guarantee you.”
So that’s a no, then? “Did I go to jail for strangling him? Never happened.”
Hattenstone notes that Snipes then giggled at the Post-its claim but did not appear to be truly amused. Snipes then wondered aloud why everyone simply believed these claims against him without question:
“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.’”
Snipes also pointed out that he was an executive producer on the threequel, which he says gave him “au-thor-i-ty to say, to dictate, to decide.” And back on our original subject, Snipes states that Trump got preferential treatment on his taxes because “This is not rocket science. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Officially, Snipes was on hand to promote his role alongside Eddie Murphy in Coming 2 America, which will stream on Amazon Prime beginning on December 18.