Michael K. Williams wanted The Wire to embrace Omar’s sexuality


In an excerpt from “Scenes From My Life” published by vulturethe actor admits that he was apprehensive about taking on the role of a homosexual, a fear that he wrote “comes from [his] education, the community that raised [him]and the enduring stereotypes of gay characters.” But once Williams acclimated to the role and realized he wouldn’t force him to play a “guy,” he embraced the character’s sexuality and moved on. even started to push for better representation.

Despite the many ways “The Wire” broke new ground, the series often made Omar’s central relationship with Michael Kevin Darnall’s Brandon more implicit than explicit. For a series that hasn’t shied away from gang violence, as well as heterosexual expressions of love, the lack of intimacy between the two stands out. “It seemed like everyone was dancing around their intimacy issue,” Williams wrote. “There was a lot of hair touching and lips rubbing and things like that. I felt like if we were going to do this, we should do everything.”

Williams wrote that he felt the directors were afraid to portray the couple’s love in a physical way, saying: “Twenty years ago men – especially men of color – didn’t kiss at the television. I don’t mean it was rare; I mean what did not happenWhile another influential HBO show, ‘Oz’, started a few years before ‘The Wire’ and featured several gay characters, it’s true that the TV landscape as a whole was devoid of queer male-to-male intimacy. color at the time. “You know f*** homosexuals, right?” Williams remembers telling one of the directors.


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