August 12, 2015

David Simon On New Projects, an Old Series, and Baltimore

David Simon discusses current events in Baltimore in this Slate interview, and points out that The Wire is not  necessarily a guide to understanding them.  An excerpt follows.

I heard that you said, during an event where members of The Wire’s cast read testimonies from Baltimore residents after the death of Freddie Gray, that art or drama or television shows are not appropriate venues for addressing the protests and riots. Rather, journalism is the venue.

That’s a little too broad. What I was saying was, right now, we shouldn’t be attenuating our attentions through a television drama. We don’t need that right now. At some point someone may find a meaningful drama to explain this moment. If not in Baltimore, then maybe Ferguson or Charleston or somewhere. There is a lot that drama can do, and it certainly has a role. But right now it struck me as being inappropriate, that with all the actual substance of what is happening in the streets right now, in the halls of power right now, we need to be straining this through a drama. Why are you doing that? What was it that made people at various publications and blogs reference The Wire just because it was black people in Baltimore? That’s fucked up. It’s almost a shrinking of the human mind. Why don’t you attend to what’s actually happening right now in Baltimore? You don’t need McNulty or whoever to access it.

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