The HBO series The Wire was controversial, gritty, and harrowing in its portrayal of drug crimes and gang violence in West Baltimore. While what happened on screen was fascinating, the behind the scenes stories and the impact the show had on politics and culture is just as interesting.
The Creators Knew Their Stuff
The Wire gets much of its realism from the co-creators of the show, David Simon and Ed Burns. David Simon was so knowledgeable about the Baltimore drug trafficking world from his twelve years of working for the Baltimore Sun. Simon also co-wrote The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood with Ed burns, and wrote Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets about the city’s drug and gang problems.
Ed Burns was similarly knowledgeable. Burns worked as a Baltimore police detective for the Homicide and Narcotics divisions, and as a public school teacher before working as a police reporter for the Baltimore Sun.