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One Major Thing Michael K. Williams Wished The Wire Had Done Differently In Regards To Omar

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Omar wasn’t just a gay character on “The Wire,” he was one of the first openly gay characters on television. At first, Williams was nervous about the role, but he soon realized everyone around him was more scared than he was. “In regards to Omar and his lover Brandon (Michael Kevin Darnall),” Williams wrote in Scenes from My Life (via Vulture), “it seemed like everyone was dancing around their intimacy issue. There was lots of touching hair and rubbing lips and things like that. I felt like if we were going to do this, we should go all in. I think the directors were scared, and I said to one of them, “You know gay people ****, right?”

Williams ended up convincing Darnall that they should really kiss in an upcoming scene, and he remembered the crew was shocked, with everyone stopping to watch the scene. “The director, Clark Johnson, was on a ladder, and he said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up.” He wasn’t really watching the first time but just heard the lips smack and maybe sensed the crew’s reaction. “Do that again,” Williams wrote.

Williams’s portrait of Omar as an unapologetic, fully fleshed-out Black, gay character helped change the way LGBTQ+ people are viewed and portrayed in films and television. Change never happens overnight, but it begins with people like Williams, who aren’t afraid to push boundaries and show reality as it is.



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