When the national media discusses Baltimore’s issues–whether it’s political corruption or violent police tactics or drug-related violence–they almost invariably namecheck The Wire. David Simon, the famously crotchety creator of that beloved HBO series, thinks that is “f***ed up.”
In a recent interview with Slate to promote his upcoming HBO miniseries (which centers on housing discrimination in Yonkers), Simon took some time out to discuss why he thinks it’s inappropriate to look at the death of Freddie Gray and the ensuing unrest in the city through the lens of a TV drama:
[R]ight 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 f***ed 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.
Read the rest of the interview here to hear about Simon’s thoughts on the rise of social media, the optics of the protests in Baltimore, and the ratcheting down of the drug war.