‘The Wire’ wins Classic Television Award at American Black Film Festival: ‘It captured the zeitgeist of the time’

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The cast of "The Wire" attends the American Black Film Festival Honors Awards Ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 23, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The Baltimore-based TV show “The Wire” won big Sunday night at the American Black Film Festival.

With several cast members standing on stage with him, Wendell Pierce accepted the Classic Television Award and gave a speech.


Pierce, who played William “The Bunk” Moreland on the show, said when filming started in 2002, nobody could have ever imagined the success.

“Twenty years ago we gathered in Baltimore to start filming this television series that we were hoping would be our best work,” he said. “What we could never see is that it captured the zeitgeist of the time and changed American television history.”


Praising the producers, writers and creator David Simon, Pierce recited several famous lines from the show. He called it a “classic” television show that is still relevant today because of how authentic it was and filled with humanity.

“It was authentic and truthful,” Pierce said. “And what makes it truthful is that we were telling specific stories. And the more specific, the more universal your story becomes.”

Pierce described the award as an “honor” and joked that the cast wasn’t used to winning anything. Though the series received two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, it was never nominated for the Emmy’s highest honor in television: Outstanding Drama Series.