The American Black Film Festival awarded the acclaimed 2000s series “The Wire” with the Classic Television award at its honors gala over the weekend.
The ABFF celebrated the HBO Baltimore crime drama, created by David Simon, for being widely regarded as “one of the greatest television shows of all time,” a press release stated.
Cast members from “The Wire,” which aired from 2002 to 2008, accepted the award on stage at the ceremony on Sunday in Beverly Hills, California.
Wendell Pierce, who portrayed detective William “Bunk” Moreland in the series, delivered an acceptance speech, alongside other cast members, including Lance Reddick, Andre Royo, Jamie Hector, Sonja Sohn and Michael K. Williams.
“This is a great honor for us... the many years we did ‘The Wire’ we never got awards,” Pierce said with a laugh. “We’re breaking records tonight, getting our first one.”
Critics widely accused the Emmys of snubbing “The Wire” by not granting the show a single award and only giving it two noms for writing.
“Twenty years ago we gathered in Baltimore to start filming this television series that we were hoping would be our best work... but what we couldn’t [have] seen, was the fact that it captured the zeitgeist of the time and changed American television history,” Pierce later continued on stage.
He also noted that what makes the series a classic is that “it speaks to our humanity then when it was filmed [and] now it’s still relevant and years after we are gone, it will still speak to our humanity because it was authentic and truthful.”
The ABFF honors ceremony aims to celebrate “Black culture by recognizing artists who have made distinguished contributions to American entertainment through their work, as well as those who champion diversity and inclusion,” its website states.
Actor Jamie Foxx was also a recipient of an award at the ceremony on Sunday. He received the Excellence in the Arts Award, which honors someone who has received critical acclaim for their work.
“Martin,” a 1990s series starring Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold received ABFF’s Classic TV award in 2018.