Wendell Pierce Pulls Out of Commencement Address

The Wire star Wendell Pierce pulled out of a May 18 commencement speech at Rutgers University Newark on Monday morning following his arrest for battery this weekend in Atlanta. The actor also forfeited the right to receive an honorary degree from the school. In his stead, reporter Soledad O'Brien will address the graduating class. Pierce, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter, was cuffed outside an Atlanta hotel after he allegedly assaulted two Bernie Sanders supporters. In a statement to students, Rutgers said Pierce made the decision to exit the speaking gig in order to assure the event stayed "a celebration of the accomplishments of its students free of distractions."