David Simon, creator of critically acclaimed HBO shows Treme and The Wire, is one of this year's 23 MacArthur Fellows. Recipients of the fellowship--also known as "genius" grants--are awarded $500,000, with no strings attached. Simon is by far the best known of this year's fellows, which include a bee-keeper, a jazz pianist, and a computer security specialist. The Wall Street Journal reports on why Simon was chosen:
The MacArthur foundation said it gave Mr. Simon a grant because of his ability to "craft richly textured narratives that probe urban America's most complex and poorly understood realities."
In an interview, Mr. Simon, 50, said that while he was honored to receive the award, he also felt a tinge of guilt. Past winners have been "people directly engaged in trying to improve the environment or trying to address social injustices," he said. "To be blunt, I'm in the entertainment industry...and my contracts are well funded right now."
Past "geniuses" include Cormac McCarthy, James McPherson, and David Macauley.
Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.