So was “The Wire” a Black show?

The Wire was probably the most successful show ever on television with a predominantly Black cast. But wait. Before anyone pats themselves on the back, what other shows have had a predmoninatly Black cast?

David Mills goes throught quite a few, but his list ends in 1984. Since then, we’ve had ROC, Cosby spinoffs, Martin, Everybody Hates Chris, and…well…that’s about it except for the WB and UPN.

The 3 4 networks have had nothing like this in terms of diversity.

So should we give a big ass halo to HBO?

Hell, no.

I remember when somebody somewhere wrote that The Wire has too many Black people for them to get interested in the show.

Fuck them. Just fuck them up the ass and leave their corpses in the Chesapeake.

Mills’ question led me to another question: Was The Wire a more positive Black show than The Corner?

My answer is a resounding yes.

I remember reading (Who Gets to Tell a Black Story) that HBO pushed to have Charles S. Dutton direct, (and some Undercover Black Man be a writer) so that they could say they had Black people behind the cameras.

 For “The Wire”, HBO pretty much let David Simon be the show runner, and he had people of all races directing and writing episodes.

So, which project would you say was more successful?

I absolutely loved The Corner, because it is as real as TV will ever get. Ever. But I think that The Wire was more successful for the simple fact that the actors, the roles in this fictional drama were often Black when they didn’t have to be.

Perhaps also, Mr. Simon learned how to get a racially diverse crew in Baltimore from his experience with The Corner.

In The Corner, to play it accurately, the characters races were what they were. Gary was Black, as was the rest of his family. To tell the tale truthfully, you couldn’t really vary much.

Freamon could have been white, hell, he could have been Asian. Kima, Snoop, Bubbles, all could have been another race without an effect on the storyline…or would it have had an effect? Personally, I don’t think so.

I remember the first time I read that people weren’t watching The Wire because it had too many Black characters. Up until that time, I hadn’t noticed. I just thought it had good actors. Pardon my white ass, but I actually didn’t notice that the actors were Black; I just thought they were good actors.

I guess that shows what a naive honky I really am.


1 Comment

  1. The naive honky thing could be your epitath…

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