Nicolas Genin/Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA)
In the Blade movie trilogy, Wesley Snipes plays the titular character—a leather-clad half-vampire who, with the help of country music star Kris Kristofferson, hunts the full vampires trying to suck the blood of humanity. On Twitter, Snipes plays a tax-evading action movie star who, with the help of a clever hashtag, drags the Republican presidential nominee for his own history of tax evasion.
During the first presidential debate of the 2016 general election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump this week, Clinton charged that Trump has used accounting tricks to ensure that, for many years, he paid no federal income taxes.
It's a strategy that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) employed four years ago against then-GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Where Romney vociferously pushed back against the assertion that he hadn't paid federal income taxes, Trump attempted to turn it to his advantage. “That makes me smart,” Trump bragged. “It would be squandered, too, believe me.”
Unsurprisingly this exchange, in which the former reality TV star essentially admits he got away with not paying income taxes, irked Snipes. In 2008, Snipes was convicted for neglecting to file tax returns for the years spanning 1999 and 2001, during which he owned the government some $7 million. He appealed, but ended up serving three years in prison. Snipes was released in 2013.
Like Trump, Snipes believed he was being “smart,” having listened to the advice of his accountant and a fringe anti-tax advocate who convinced the Demolition Man star he wouldn't have to pay federal income taxes if he protested all federal taxation as illegitimate. That strategy did not work (because it never does), and Snipes ended up in jail—whereas Trump got to host The Apprentice for over a decade before mounting a run for president.
Feeling like he was ice-skating uphill, Snipes tweeted a meme about the unfairness of it all.Snipes then tweeted a slogan. That slogan, of course, spawned the hashtag #MakeAmericaBladeAgain.
While Snipes was initially trying to make a point about how some people seem to get away with not paying their taxes and others have to spend three years in a white-collar prison, it seems like most of the activity on the hashtag was fans advocating for more Blade movies.That may not have been what Snipes was going for, but he probably can't complain. If there's anyone who most likely wants there to be a Blade 4, it's Snipes.
H/T Daily Beast