Wesley Snipes—actor, film producer, martial artist, and tax evader extraordinaire—has just executed the most hypocritical hit of his career. The 54-year-old, most famous for his roles in White Men Can’t Jump, the Blade film trilogy, and the epic quote “Always bet on black,” took to Twitter on Tuesday to go off on Donald Trump. Snipes (LINK:) tweeted, “Many are voting 4 a business man who states he’s paid NO taxes & at the same time hate on the Daywalker every April?”
Snipes is not pejoratively referring to a redhead who does not burn in direct sunlight, but rather to the half-vampire “daywalker” he played in Blade. His accompanying meme juxtaposes a picture of Trump, labeled, “I’m smart for paying no taxes,” with one of Snipes, captioned, “He’s smart for finding the loop holes & PAYING no taxes, Snipes is sentenced for hiring accountants who filed the wrong forms? even when he tried to pay they still locked him up? hmmm??”
The 2016 presidential election: it was the best of memes, it was the worst of memes.
Snipes’s unexpected political commentary comes in light of Donald Trump’s abysmal performance at Monday night’s debate. Amidst a series of gaffes and sniffles, Trump seemed incapable of explaining why he has refused to release his tax returns. When Hillary Clinton hypothesized that Trump might not be paying federal income taxes, he petulantly interjected, “That makes me smart.” Like millions of Americans, Snipes seems suspicious of a presidential candidate who has repeatedly prioritized personal wealth accumulation over civic duty. Unlike most Americans, Snipes has a personal relationship to Trump’s shady tax dealings, because it takes one to know one.
Back in 2008, Snipes was convicted of three misdemeanor counts for failing to file his 1999-2001 tax returns. Over the course of three years, Snipes cheated the government out of $7 million. According to prosecutors, Snipes was led astray by his two co-defendants, an accountant, and an “anti-tax advocate.” Using obscure sections of the tax code, they convinced Snipes that he did not legally owe any taxes. Or as Snipes recalled, “Accountants know that kind of stuff. And all of the accountants I’ve been with, if they told me, ‘You don’t owe anything,’ I believe them. If they say, ‘You owe this amount of dollars,’ I believe them. They’re the ones doing the accounting.” After losing a retrial appeal, the beloved actor was sentenced to three years at a white-collar prison. He was released on April 2, 2013.
Like Donald Trump, Snipes is a high earner with a history of cheating the system. From 1999 to 2004, the black belt reportedly took in around $40 million in profits. He has also exhibited a Trumpian interior decorating aesthetic, as well as a Trumpian relationship to the outside world. During his trial, one of Snipes’s lawyers famously said that it’s not a crime to be crazy. In a GQ interview soon after he was sentenced, Snipes admitted, “I’m not saying he was incorrect.”
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that Snipes has dipped his toes into the Twitter pond. In May, the actor used the social media platform to tease the possibility of a fourth Blade film, which explains his newfound insistence on the “Daywalker” moniker. Here’s hoping that Snipes’s comeback performance doesn’t debut during a Donald Trump presidency.