I don’t give a f––– if we ever win one of their little trinkets

I used to live in Hollywood.  I worked for a major studio.  I worked for one of the largest film distribution companies. 

Guess what?  Lily white.  Token Asian, Arab, whatever.  The people upstairs were never Black or Hispanic.

So today, when I read  that David Simon actually wants the Hollywood community to stiff the show at this point, it made sense.  Also, I found out that it’s Obama’s favorite show.  There’s some street cred, I guess.But see, the reason we watch the show is because it is so real.  It disgusts me when people say how stereotypical the show is when they’ve seen an episode or two.  No,  the show is real.  Read The Corner. Simon and Burns spent a year on Fayette street.  Don’t tell me that they don’t understand what’s real and what isn’t.

The reality of the writing is what intimidates Hollywood so. They know that they can’t pull it off. They can’t pull off a majority Black cast without pandering. They can’t pull off shooting on location. The Wire pisses off Hollywood to no end, and that, my friends, is a very, very good thing.

But hey, after all, The Wire isn’t just a show – it’s “The Bicycle Thief

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10 Comments

  1. Your comments bring to mind Margaret Cho’s experience with her very short-lived sitcom, All American Girl, an experience that very literally almost killed her:

    Producers told Cho at different times during production that she was “too Asian” and, paradoxically, that she was “not Asian enough”. At one point during the course of the show, producers hired a coach to teach Cho how to “be more Asian”

  2. It’s not a question of their whiteness, it’s a question of their wanting to craft an image to pander to an audience for ratings. Simon ain’t exactly Louis Farrakhan, yet he and his writers get it right. Why? Because they don’t give a fuck about broadening their audience demographic. They have a vision, they have a story to tell, they understand the setting and its characters, and they write accordingly.

    It’ll be interesting to see if his New Orleans project can maintain the same level of accuracy. He’s not from here, and everybody who ain’t from here who has ever tried to tell our story has fucked it up, with the recent very spectacular exception of Spike Lee’s “When The Levees Broke”. But I have faith.

  3. So the fact that I just failed to close my italics tag I’m sure I’m never going to live down.

  4. Bwaaa ha ha ha. You been tagged.

    The name David Simon came up when discussing something among faculty at my place of employment. One of my best friends, a black professor, who had seen snippets of both The Corner and The Wire, stated that these shows were stereotyping Black youth.

    I tried to explain to him that The Corner was an ethnographic tome based upon Simon and Burns spending an entire year on a Fayette Street corner. I even offered to lend him my copy (a first edition, mind you), so he could see for himself. Yet this guy, born on the south side of Chicago and a PhD, refused. He only saw it as a black/white thing. He will ever only see it as a black/white thing.

    If their mind’s made up, then their mind’s made up.

  5. Closed your tags, Ray.

    Gimme a dollar!

  6. Because they don’t give a fuck about broadening their audience demographic. They have a vision, they have a story to tell, they understand the setting and its characters, and they write accordingly

    But having chosen such a politically and racially charged environment for a drama, so many creative decisions necessarily involve conscious choices about race and class that could be ruinous if done poorly. It’s one hell of an edge they cut on The Wire…obviously too sharp for Hollywood’s taste.

    If Hollywood is as homogeneous as Ashley says, I’d agree the whiteness and ego alone is an unsurmountable obstacle blocking their ability to make great shows about an increasingly diverse world. There certainly isn’t much coming out of Hollywood to contradict this notion lately. It also sounds rather shameful in this day and age.

    So the fact that I just failed to close my italics tag I’m sure I’m never going to live down.

    I’ll edit the tag for ya Francis… a pack of smokes and you have to sit down to pee for a week.

  7. Damn, I took a phone call and virgo closes the lil’ hopper’s tags. Don’t mess with my bizness now!

  8. Caveat: my experience was in Hollyweird in the late 80s / early 90s. Maybe it’s opened up a bit. I doubt it.

    Also, I taught a Project Management class this past December in Bahrain. In a couple of discussions, we had to determine if a project was feasible. One project was a new movie, hopefully the see for a series of movies, based upon an Arabic version of Luke Skywalker.

    The entire class said that they would not use an Arabian as a lead character in a global release. They, to a person, said that making the lead character Arabic would limit the market.

    Sad, ain’t it.

  9. I still think the Emmy diss is all about jobs and money. Why would the average Emmy voter stick his neck out and vote for a show that’s shot and produced in Baltimore when none of his friends work on it or draw a pay check from it? All the vote will do is reduce their chances of working on some other show produced in LA? Baltimore is not on the Emmy radar and never will be, and the fact that “The Wire” is produced with a predominantly black cast without ratings success in mind makes it incomprehensible to your average studio hack.

  10. Don’t mess with my bizness now!

    60/40. Take it or I post the Butter Girl video


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