Perhaps you missed it during last night's nonstop Oscar telecast and coverage, but, your Sunday night television viewing will forever be changed. Omar Little—the black gay homothug and stickup artist with the heart of gold played to perfection by Michael K. Williams—was killed.
The character saw his demise in the most mundane and ordinary of circumstances—buying his usual pack of Newports at a corner store—and lost his life to the most extraordinary of killers: A boy who was no more than 9 or 10 years old. Editors at The Baltimore Sun decline to report on the "routine homicide", but, luckily the crime scene yielded a clue that is sure to take down the Marlo Stanfield crime family.
Omar Little's character defined the television series often described as the "best" on television. Frontrunner Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama channels many basketball players and our blog buddy Shana Naomi at Popnography to say Omar Little was his favorite character. "He's this black, gay gangster who only robs drug dealers, and then gives back," Obama exlains in the audio interview. "He's the toughest, baddest guy on this show, but he's gay, you know. And it's really interesting."
The shootout in the corner store signals the demise of one of the most compelling television portrayals of a black gay character. "The most fearless thing I had to play as Omar was his openness about his sexuality," Michael K. Williams says in a recent NPR interview. (Audio) "I wanted that to be serious, I wanted him to be believable, and, I didn't want to disrespect anyone in the gay community." To that end, Michael K. Williams upheld his promise and presented a conflicted, complex character. Omar lived violently and died just as violently—but he was fearless and open with his sexuality.
And we need much more of that on television.
You May Have Missed ...
Michael K. Williams: Omar's Sexuality is "Fearless" [R20]
Obama: Omar is "Black, Gay, Fascinating" Character [R20]
Michael K. Williams and Being Gay on "The Wire" [R20]
Deb Price on Blacks LGBTs and Obama [R20]
All Up in Omar's Game [Popnography]
The Parts You Can't Make Up [Popnography]
Best Gay Sex Scenes on TV [After Elton]