NEW YORK — HBO’s “The
Wire,” which opened its fifth and final season Jan. 6, has gotten
little recognition in Tinseltown. Executive producer David Simon says
that’s fine with him.
The series has been acclaimed
by critics and has a cult-like following — but has earned just one Emmy
nomination in four seasons. Simon and George Pelecanos were nominated
for writing in 2005, but lost.
“I don’t give a [expletive] if we ever win one of their little
trinkets,” Simon told Newsweek magazine. “I don’t care if they ever
figure out we’re here in Baltimore.
“Secretly, we all know we get more ink for being shut out. So at this
point, we wanna be shut out. We wanna go down in flames together,
holding hands all the way.”
Each season of “The Wire” has focused on a different aspect of the grit and blight of an American city in decline.
The final installment of “The Wire” casts its withering eye on the
media, focusing on layoffs at The Baltimore Sun newspaper — where Simon
worked for 13 years as a police reporter before accepting a buyout in
1995 — and how newspapers fail to capture certain complex truths.
Previous seasons of the acclaimed drama have featured drug dealers,
struggling longshoremen, city politicians and inner-city students.
The drama is actually about “the decline of the American empire” and
the failure of postmodern institutions, Simon has said.
Simon feels the show doesn’t get credit for its diverse cast, nearly all of whom had no high-profile prior credits.
“Let me indict Hollywood as much as I can on this one,” Simon said. “We
have more working black actors in key roles than pretty much all the
other shows on the air. And yet you still hear people claim they can’t
find good African American actors. That’s why race-neutral shows and
movies turn out lily-white.”
Of the show’s actors, only Dominic West — the white British actor that
portrays Baltimore police officer Jimmy McNulty — has been able to
cross over into major movie work, while the show’s several black actors
are doing bit parts or stage work, Newsweek reported in its edition
that hit newsstands last Monday.