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‘The Black Guy Is Always the Problem’: Wesley Snipes Addresses Past Claims That He Was ‘Crazy’ on Set of ‘Blade: Trinity’

Wesley Snipes is unimpressed with comedian Patton Oswalt’s past comments about him being a diva on the set of “Blade: Trinity,” calling them “microaggressions.”

“This is part of the challenges that we as African-Americans face here in America — these microaggressions,” said Snipes.

In a 2012 interview with A.V. Club, Oswalt reflected on the different roles he has played in his expansive career. That included his role as “Hedges” in the 2004 film “Blade: Trinity,” which he recalled as having a troubled production, largely thanks to what he indicated was Snipes’ challenging personality.

“Wesley [Snipes] was just f—g crazy in a hilarious way. He wouldn’t come out of his trailer, and he would smoke weed all day.” Oswalt remembered an instance in which Snipes yelled at a Black actor who was wearing a shirt with the word “Garbage” emblazoned on the front.  

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 02: Wesley Snipes speaks on stage at the Hammer Museum Los Angeles Presents MoMA Contenders 2019 Screening and Q&A of “Dolemite Is My Name” at Hammer Museum on December 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

“It was his shirt. And Wesley came down to the set, which he only did for close-ups. Everything else was done by his stand-in. I only did one scene with him. But he comes on and goes, ‘There’s only one other Black guy in the movie, and you make him wear a shirt that says ‘Garbage?’ You racist m———-r!’”

Oswalt also claimed that Snipes tried to strangle David Goyer, the director and writer of the film.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, published on Nov. 2, Snipes decided to speak to Oswalt’s accusations about his behavior on “Blade: Trinity,” his unwillingness to work with others and his alleged violent actions toward 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,” Snipes said. “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.”

Oswalt also noted in his 2012 interview an interaction between Snipes and Goyer in which Snipes told the director he was “detrimental” to the movie and needed to “quit.” Goyer responded with, “Why don’t you quit? We’ve got all your close-ups, and we could shoot the rest with your stand-in.”

“And that freaked Wesley out so much that, for the rest of the production, he would only communicate with the director through Post-it notes. And he would sign each Post-it note ‘From Blade,’” Oswalt said.

Snipes calls such claims absurd. “I remind you that I was one of the executive producers of the project,” Snipes said to The Guardian. “I had contractual director approval. I was not just the actor for hire. I had au-thor-i-ty to say, to dictate, to decide. This was a hard concept for a lot of people to wrap their heads around.”

“Blade: Trinity” is notoriously cited for its difficult production, one that Snipes was so displeased with that he lobbed a lawsuit against New Line Cinema, Goyer and executive producer Toby Emmerich for more than $5 million in damages.

As part of the suit, he alleged that he experienced racial discrimination and prejudice from Goyer and the rest of production. Shadow and Act summed up some of the contentions at the heart of Snipes’ legal claim in a 2017 article: “In contrast to the first two Blade films, in which efforts were made to select a multiracial cast and crew, Goyer and Emmerich ‘intentionally hired only white people,’ which Snipes claimed led to him feeling isolated and excluded. He also claimed that Goyer made racially motivated statements about Snipes being unprofessional and difficult to work with, and that Goyer refused to discipline a crew member who wore a racially discriminatory T-shirt on the set.”

The suit eventually was settled.

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