President Barack Obama, arguably the most famous fan of HBO's "The Wire," spoke to the series' creator David Simon about issues within the country's criminal justice system, the man who inspired the character of Omar Little ("my favorite character," Obama said) and more in a one-on-one conversation from earlier this week.
The White House published the clip (which you can watch above) on YouTube Thursday.
"I'm a huge fan of 'The Wire,'" Obama said to start the conversation. "I think it's one of the greatest -- not just television shows but pieces of art in the last couple of decades."
The two go on to discuss why Simon, a former Baltimore Sun reporter, created "The Wire," problems within law enforcement and imprisonment and the importance of humanizing both criminals and police officers.
The interview was first shown at the Bipartisan Summit for Criminal Justice Reform, held in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, according to The Root.
During the 12-minute video, the two talk about Simon’s early experiences witnessing the effects of the drug trade on Baltimore during the 80s.
“They stopped doing police work,” Simon said of the early efforts to address the drug epidemic.
“They were arresting people for drugs,” Simon said. “And that was presumptive police work. But actually it wasn’t. The numbers for drug arrests, and the incarcerations for drug arrests went up, And they were small incarcerations.”
The two go on to talk about how drug arrests have weakened communities.
“You’re absolutely right. They come back out completely tarred. They can’t vote. They can’t participate in their communities. They’ve lost track of families. Families have been destroyed,” Simon said.
He added: “And if it was this draconian and it worked, then maybe we could have a discussion that said ‘what we’re doing is working.’ Yes. It’s terrible, and we’re losing a lot of humanity but, hey, it’s working. But it doesn’t work. It’s draconian and it doesn’t work.”
No word yet on whether HBO is considering the duo for a new season of "True Detective," but we here at Insider have our fingers crossed.