‘A Great Honor’: ‘The Wire’ Honored With Classic Television Award at American Black Film Festival

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Some of the cast members of HBO’s “The Wire” reunited at The American Black Film Festival Honors on Sunday, Feb. 23. It took place at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where the show was given the Classic Television Award.

The acceptance speech was given by Wendell Pierce, who played detective William “Bunk” Moreland on the show. He was joined on stage by actors like Michael K. Williams, Sonja Sohn, Andre Royo, Jamie Hector and Lance Reddick.

Cast members of ‘The Wire” (from left) Jamie Hector, Glynn Turman, Michael K. Williams, Sonja Sohn, Wendell Pierce, Lance Reddick, Andre Royo and J. D. Williams accept the Classic Television Award given by the American Black Film Festival on Sunday, Feb. 23, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

“This is a great honor for us,” said Pierce. “The many years we did ‘The Wire’ we never got awards. So we’re breaking records tonight, getting our first one.”

“Twenty years ago we gathered in Baltimore to start filming this television series that we were hoping would be our best work and received in a hopeful fashion,” he added. “But what we couldn’t [have] seen is the fact that it captured the zeitgeist of the time and changed American television history.”

“The Wire,” created by former Baltimore Sun police reporter David Simon, ran for five seasons from 2002 to 2008, not airing in 2007. It focused on the Baltimore drug trade, local politics, the police department, the education system, and the war on drugs.

The series provided breakout roles for actors like Williams, who played the stickup man Omar Little. Idris Elba, who portrayed the drug lord Russell “Stringer” Bell, also became a big star after “The Wire” ended.

The cast included actors like Wood Harris, Felicia Pearson, a young Michael B. Jordan, and Method Man among dozens who appeared in the series.

“The Wire,’ like all great art, became a clear reflection of our time and an indictment of the virulent, violent, dysfunctional and destructive policies at the heart of the decline of the American culture and society,” Pierce said during his speech.

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