"The Wire" creator David Simon was named as one of this year’s 23 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation — a prestigious honor also known as the "genius awards" and which carry a $500,000 gift, reports the New York Times.
Simon was one of 10 winners who work in the arts, while 13 focus on the sciences, from an entomologist who studies and protects the honey bee to a biophysicist who focuses on the hydrodynamics of jellyfish propulsion, the story says.
Simon, 50, says he was grateful but "I have a vague sense of not belonging," adding that past winners had accomplished "tangible things to improve conditions." Yet he says he believes the MacArthur honor will help push the discussion of ideas in his television shows, including the current HBO program "Treme," from "the entertainment pages to the op-ed pages," the story says.
"One overt argument that ‘The Wire’ was making is that the drug war is amoral and untenable,” he adds. All the fellows will receive $100,000 a year for five years, without any strings, the article says.