David Simon, the former journalist who brought “Homicide,” “The Corner,” “The Wire,” “Generation Kill,” and “Treme” to television, has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, the $500,000 award given to innovators that is more widely know as the “genius grant.”
“I confess to a feeling that I can only describe as a vague sense of shame,” says Simon on the phone from New Orleans, where he’s in story meetings for the second season of “Treme,” a post-Katrina HBO drama. “It was exacerbated when I went online and looked at the people who’d gotten fellowships in the past. The majority of them are involved in endeavors which are very tangible — efforts to combat poverty or economic disparities, or to improve the environment. And while I think storytelling is a meaningful way to spend your life… it does feel a little bit secondary or off-point. I definitely felt a little sheepish after looking at the list.” [WaPo]
Well, he certainly speaks like a genius. I don’t think I’ve ever talked that long without using the word “awesome.”
Embedded below is video of Simon talking about the honor. While I doubt he really needs a half milly to keep pursuing his craft, I’m glad he got this recognition. The Emmys sure as hell weren’t gonna do it.