Wendell Pierce withdraws from Rutgers-Newark commencement, school announces Soledad O'Brien as new speaker
Wendell Pierce will no longer speak at the May 18 Rutgers University - Newark commencement.
The actor, most famous for his work on "The Wire," has recused himself as speaker after The Associated Press reported Pierce’s arrest at an Atlanta, Georgia hotel Saturday, the University announced in a press release Monday.
Pierce was charged with simple battery and released on a bond of $1,000.
In light of the arrest, some Rutgers - Newark Students were against having Pierce speak at their graduation. A small number signed a petition requesting Pierce’s removal the same day the actor resigned.
According to the release, Pierce recused himself so that the commencement would “be a celebration of the accomplishments of (the University’s) students free of distractions.”
Soledad O’Brien, an award winning journalist and documentarian, will now speak at the school’s graduation at the Prudential Center in Newark.