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‘Wire’ creator: Go ahead and snub us, Hollywood

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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.

(Associated Press)