The Writer’s Guild of America West presented Brad Falchuk ’93 L.H.D. ’14 with the Valentine Davies Award for contributions to the industry and his community that “have brought dignity and honor to writers everywhere.”
At the February celebration, Falchuk was recognized for his work as an award-winning co-creator, writer, executive producer and director of numerous acclaimed series, including Glee, American Horror Story, Pose and The Politician, as well as his work off-screen, which has focused on improving literacy and arts education to promote self-confidence. Falchuk is a founding member and advisor of the non-profit Young Storytellers Foundation, which serves more than 100 schools across the U.S. and in countries around the world. Started in 2003 in the greater Los Angeles area, the program provides under-served, arts-poor public schools with an opportunity to write stories and see them brought to life by famous actors through performance using group exercises and one-on-one mentoring.
“Brad Falchuk sees the world as a better place when everyone has a chance to tell their story, and his commitment to that vision extends far beyond the works he has created,” said Writer’s Guild of America West President David A. Goodman, who noted that the HWS graduate “has worked tirelessly to promote the creative arts as a positive way for young people to develop themselves.”
In his speech, Falchuk spoke about how he measures each day and whether he, his family, his community and the world have expanded or contracted because of his actions. That perspective, he said, allows him to look at failure as a learning experience and look forward to the next day. “Something about going into every day with that framing creates a space for special things to happen,” he said.
Falchuk joins the esteemed company of past Valentine Davies Award winners, including Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, Larry Gelbert, Richard Curtis and Dustin Lance Black.
An English major at HWS, Falchuk went on to earn a degree in screenwriting from American Film Institute before he was hired by Ryan Murphy to work on the first season of Nip/Tuck. The pair went on to create Glee, along with Ian Brennan, and garner 16 Emmy nominations and four wins. Falchuk and Murphy have since co-created the FX horror drama American Horror Story, which has won more than a dozen Emmy Awards and been nominated for more than 75, and the anthology series American Crime Story, which premiered in 2016 to commercial and critical praise, garnering Emmys and Golden Globes for Outstanding Limited Series its first two seasons, The People v. O.J. Simpson (2016) and The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018).