Why Hollywood won’t cast Wesley Snipes anymore
Once on a time, Wesley Snipes was among the very in-demand actions stars in show business–and for good reason. Snipes’ unique mix of athletic and martial arts skills together with undeniable charm contributed to a memorable performances along with a couple of blockbuster hits. Nowadays, howeverit feels like Hollywood will not go anywhere close to himdecades past his marquee-topping prime, and you are a lot more likely to see Snipes at a B-list direct-to-video associate of the 0% club Rotten Tomatoes.
The man behind Blade is still (arguably) a household name, and Hollywood history is full of stories about talented people who were given second chances after flaming out during their first shot at the big time. So why won’t the movie industry cast him in major productions anymore? To answer that question, let’s take a look at the ass-kicking actor’s career trajectory, in order to pinpoint what exactly went wrong. Here’s why Hollywood won’t cast Wesley Snipes anymore.
He hit it big in Major League…
Wesley Snipes’ career got off to a blazing start when he landed the role of Willie Mays Hayes, the fleet-footed base-stealer that”struck such as s***” in baseball humor classic big League. Although his batting originally left the Cleveland Indians something to be desired, his charismatic and athletic performance captured the eye of casting directors around Hollywood, assisting bettering the young actor to big-league fame.
Some claim, however, that fame went to his head.
…But was too good for Major League II
Wesley Snipes turned into a Hollywood hot shot quickly, in reality, he did not even look at rejoining the throw for Major League II–that especially starred almost everybody else from the first.
Corbin Bernsen, who plays the films’ vain third baseman, told Sports Illustrated, “A couple years after Major League I saw Wesley. I said, ‘Hey, man, they’re gonna make Major League II!’ And he was like, ‘You’re gonna do that?’ And I thought, ‘Wow, how quickly they forget.’ He’d become Wesley Snipes. That rubbed me the wrong way.”
He peaked too early
Snipes followed his breakthrough performance in 1989’s Leading League using a series of high-profile roles in notable films.
Between 1990-1992, Snipes played with Shadow”Sax” Henderson at Mo’ Better Blues, Thomas Flannigan in King of New York, Nino Brown in New Jack City, Flipper Purify in Jungle Fever, Sidney Deane in White Men can’t blink, and Raymond Hill in The Waterdance–most of which may be considered amongst the actor’s best performances.
Unfortunately, it all went downhill from that point.
He highlighted Hollywood’s race problem
Even while riding such a hot streak, Snipes wasn’t afraid to shine a light on Hollywood’s racial inequality.
“The movie industry right off the bat is geared for white actors,” Snipes told Jae-Ha Kim at The Chicago Sun-Times in 1991. “When screenwriters write material, they write with white actors in mind, unless they’re black writers like Spike [Lee]. The only roles available to minorities then are specifically designated as for an African-American man or an Asian woman or whatever. That’s the nature of this business, but it really fascinates me that so many films can be made with no non-white people in them!”
He was mistakenly arrested by the LAPD…
Snipes’ remarks on race had been backed up with his very first high-profile run-in with law.
While driving a company car leased by Snipes’ own manufacturing firm, Amen-Ra Movies, in 1991, Snipes was supposedly racially profiled and detained. According to a news report by The Los Angeles Times,” Snipes claims he had been made to lie spread-eagled and handcuffed on the sidewalk with a knee onto his neck and a gun pointed at his head since the vehicle in question had seemingly been wrongly recorded as discharged. Snipes was taken into custody and asserts he had been taunted for hours. “The entire experience was shameful,” Snipes said.
Snipes’ arrest was used to illustrate the difficulties African-American actors in Hollywood faced.
“If he (Snipes) were Tom Cruise this would have never happened,” claimed actor Blair Underwood. “They would have realized it was a mistake right away.” Ramona Ripston, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, seconded that notion, stating in a press conference that “because of the criminal profiles used by police in Los Angeles, a black man driving a rental car is an immediate suspect of a crime. So is a black man driving an expensive car, a car with a car phone, or an old, run-down car.”
Racial problems apart, Snipes followed his enormous run of great movies in the start of the 1990s with a series of high-profile activity characters. He performed John Cutter at Passenger 57, Jimmy Mercer at Boiling Point, and Internet Smith in Rising Sun. Regrettably, not one of those reviewed nicely with the critics.
Plus it would just get worse…
It appeared Snipes would turn his small slump around after being billed alongside action legend Sylvester Stallone in the very decent Demolition Man, but things only got worse from there. Sugar Hill, Drop Zone, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, Money Train, Waiting to Exhale, America’s Dream, The Fan, Murder at 1600, U.S. Marshals, One Night Stand, and the Snipes-produced The Big Hit all failed to impress, and Snipes’ career started cooling off fast.
Snipes’ next significant run-in with the legislation was caused, this moment, by valid motives –and could put a dent at the celebrity’s professional standing.
In August 1993, Snipes was cited for carrying a concealed, stainless steel semi-automatic pistol, filled with half a dozen rounds of hollow point bullets, following a fender-bending motorcycle accident at Hollywood–leading to a set of misdemeanors for its formerly onscreen LAPD officer. Snipes obtained two decades of unsupervised probation and was fined $2,700.
Contrary to his past high-profile experience with the authorities, Snipes was not especially bothered by this citation. “The police were doing their job,” Snipes said in a statement.