Michael K Williams pushed for more intimate gay scenes on The Wire, his posthumous memoir has revealed.
The actor, who played Omar Little in the HBO drama, died last year at the age of 54.
In his new posthumous memoir Scenes Of My Life, Williams explains how he advocated for more intimate scenes between Omar and his boyfriend Brandon in the series.
“In regards to Omar and his lover Brandon (played by Michael Kevin Darnall), it seemed like everyone was dancing around their intimacy issue,” Williams wrote, per an excerpt on Vulture.
“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 fuck, right?'”
In the book Williams recalls speaking to Darnall in private and suggesting that they kiss in the next scene together, at which point Darnall reportedly asked if they should ask the director first.
Williams replied: “I don’t think we should ask anyone. I think we should just do it.
“When I went in and kissed Michael on the lips, everyone stopped what they were doing and went slack-jawed,” the actor continued. “Twenty years ago, men – especially men of colour – were not kissing on television. I don’t mean it was rare; I mean it did not happen.
“Omar is sensitive and vulnerable and he loves with his heart on his sleeve. You can say what you want to him – it rolls right off – but don’t you dare mess with his people. He loves absolutely, fearlessly, with his whole entire being,” Williams wrote. “After clicking with that, I understood him completely.”
Earlier this year four men were charged in the death of Williams after it was found that the actor had overdosed from fentanyl-laced heroin.