Is Actor Steven Seagal the Biggest Jerk in Hollywood?
What’s the Deal With This Tough Guy?
Back in the early 1990s Steven Seagal was one of the top box office attractions in Hollywood movies. In the ilk of such cinematic butt-kickers as Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme, Seagal was a martial arts action figure who seemed as tough off the scene as on it. But Seagal’s star has faded in recent years. His films no longer make mega bucks, nearly all of them relegated to DTR (direct-to-video). Now he has to make money by fronting shows on cable TV and playing guitar in a rock band.
What happened to Steven Seagal’s acting career? Well, for one thing, Seagal’s name now appears synonymous with the words jerk, bully or a-hole. Do any of these unflattering labels fit Steven Seagal?
Steven Seagal has a black belt in aikido. With his muscular, six-foot-five frame and good looks, he became an action-adventure leading man in the late 1980s, beginning with Above the Law in 1988. Seagal’s most successful film has been Under Siege (1992), which really kicked tail at the box office.
But Seagal’s movie career began sinking in the middle 1990s, as audiences already seemed bored with his limited acting ability and take-no-crap, on-screen persona. It seemed probable that Steven Seagal was just another Hollywood tough guy whose career would quickly fade like that of a professional boxer who meets his match and gets pummeled on national TV.
And Seagal wasn't helping his reputation by being outspoken and intimidating in interviews. He was also quick to criticize others, which doesn’t win friends and influence people. Seagal seemed joined at the hip with other hard guys such as Jose Canseco. It’s difficult to like such edgy fellows.
Then, seemingly, Seagal really amped up his boorish behavior:
Seagal Drives Tank into Arizona Home
In January 2011, near Phoenix, Arizona, Steven Seagal, an animal rights advocate, took part in the police raid of a man suspected of raising roosters used in illegal cock fights. While filming a segment for his reality show, Steven Seagal: Lawman, and clad in battle fatigues and driving in a SWAT tank, Seagal and sheriff deputies raided the home of Jesus Llovera. Setting off explosives to “distract” Llovera, the deputies also smashed a fence and broke out windows in Llovera’s home. During the bust, Llovera’s 11-month-old puppy was killed (perhaps shot) and some 100 roosters were also dispatched without quarter.
Did Seagal have anything to do with the carnage? He claimed he didn’t. At any rate, was Seagal a jerk for being there in the first place? Hey, reality shows need, uh, reality!
Nevertheless, Steven Seagal, an animal rights proponent, seemed at least partially responsible for killing one puppy dog and 100 roosters!
Sued for Sexual Harassment
In April 2010, Kayden Nguyen, a twenty-something ex-model, was hired by Seagal as an “executive assistant.” Nguyen quickly learned that the job had few if any duties other than giving Seagal massages and letting him feel her up when he wanted. Allegedly Seagal had also hired two Russian women for the purpose of providing sexual favors 24/7. But when Nguyen wouldn’t perform her “duties,” she was fired.
Nguyen later sued Seagal and his production company, Steamroller Productions, for one million dollars, charging sexual harassment, human trafficking, wrongful dismissal and other charges. Seagal’s attorney released a statement saying the charges were ridiculous and that Nguyen was fired for using “illegal narcotics.”
In July 2010, Nguyen dropped the lawsuit without explanation.
Seagal Hosts on SNL
There have been many bad hosts on Saturday Night Live, but perhaps the worst of all time is Steven Seagal; in fact, Seagal made the list of the Top Ten Dubious SNL Hosts. According to the book, Live From New York by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller, back in 1991 when Seagal hosted the show, cast member David Spade said it was the first time he heard talk about replacing the host and doing a cast show.
Julia Sweeney said: “When we pitched our ideas for Seagal at our Monday meeting, he gave us some of his own sketch ideas. And some of his sketch ideas were so heinous, but so hilariously awful, it was like we were on Candid Camera.
“He had this idea that he’s a therapist and he wanted Victoria Jackson to be his patient who’s just been raped. And the therapist says, ‘You’re going to have to come to me twice a week for like three years,’ because, he said, ‘that’s how therapists freaking are. They’re just trying to get your money.’ And then he says that the psychiatrist tries to have sex with her.”
Tim Meadows said: “The biggest problem with Steven Seagal was that he would complain about jokes that he didn’t get, so it was like – you can’t explain something to somebody in German if they don’t speak German. He just wasn’t funny and he was very critical of the cast and the writing staff. He didn’t realize that you can’t tell somebody they’re stupid on Wednesday and expect them to continue writing for you on Saturday.”
John Leguizamo Slams Seagal
On various radio and TV shows such as Access Hollywood, John Leguizamo has vented steam about former cast member Steven Seagal. Leguizamo claims that while on the set of the movie, Executive Decision (1996), Seagal bullied him. John Leguizamo said:
He was supposed to be the master sergeant and I was right underneath him, his boy. We came to the first day of rehearsals, and he goes, “I’m in command,” and we laughed. I thought he was kidding. Who talks like that? He comes at me and elbows me . . . against a brick wall and knocks all the air out of me and I’m like ‘why’? I wanted to say how big and fat he is and how he runs like a girl, but I couldn’t because I didn’t have enough air.
Leguizamo continues to fire away at Seagal in his comedy routines, and supposedly, Seagal can’t wait to kick his butt.
Steven Seagal Wanted to “See” Jenny McCarthy
Per a Movieline interview in 1998, actress Jenny McCarthy, often seen on TV shows such as Two and a Half Men, claimed that while auditioning alone with Seagal for a part in the movie, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), Seagal told her to take off her dress.
McCarthy said there were no nude scenes for her part in the movie - she had the script right there with her and wouldn’t have tried out for the part even if it required a nude scene - so she refused to take off her dress.
McCarthy, a former Playboy Playmate of the Year, finally told Seagal that if he wanted to see her nude, he should rent her Playboy video, and then she promptly left the audition.
Seagal claimed such an audition never took place.
Steven Seagal Plays Guitar in Ukraine
In August 2014, at a concert promoted by the biker gang Night Wolves, Steven Seagal played guitar at a concert in Sevastopol, Ukraine, a country beset by civil war. During this protracted conflict, Russia has expressed the desire to annex Crimea, a move many Europeans and the United States opposes. During the concert Seagal told the crowd: "No man has the right to condemn another man for believing what he believes in."
Oh yeah, Steven? Nobody has the right to condemn points of view that may include the advocacy of sexual slavery, human trafficking, child molestation or the use of poison gas in warfare? Although Seagal expressed no strong feelings pro or con regarding combatants in the civil war in Ukraine, he seems to think his appearance there will have a positive effect.
At any rate, Steven played blues guitar and sang a little. But is he good or what?
Steven Seagal’s Bromance with Putin
Seagal’s appearance as a blues guitarist at a concert in Sevastopol not withstanding, Ukraine banned him from entering the country for five years because he allegedly “committed socially dangerous actions ... that contradict the interests of maintaining Ukraine's security,” according to a letter produced by the Ukrainian Security Service. It seems Seagal has been a long-time supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and, in particular, his annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Moreover, Seagal and Putin share an interest in martial arts, as well as maintaining a macho image worldwide. In November 2016, Putin gave Seagal a Russian passport and said he hopes it would help improve relations between the US and Russia.
Well, what kind of person is Steven Seagal? If the aforementioned allegations or complaints have any basis in fact, then perhaps Steven Seagal really is a jerk, bully or a-hole. At any rate, the public will have to decide, not the author of this article.
Please leave a comment.
And cast a vote . . .
Is actor Steven Seagal the biggest jerk in Hollywood?
© 2011 Kelley