Stories presage commitment from Freeman

WGA honoree can't let go of his subjects

Most socially active writers tackle subjects that are already near and dear to them. The reverse is true for veteran TV scribe Seth Freeman.

“I become involved with causes after I write about them,” explains the “Lou Grant” writer-producer, who is being honored with a 2011 Valentine Davies Award from the Writers Guild in recognition of his humanitarian efforts and community service. “About 80% of (my charities) are the result of having written about them. I do the research, and then I’m stuck.”

Freeman, a three-time Emmy winner whose credits include “The Waltons,” “The Blue Knight,” “Rhoda,” “Phyllis” and “Doc,” penned a “Lou Grant” episode about dog fighting and subsequently became an enthusiastic supporter of the Humane Society. For another “Lou Grant” episode, he researched the plight of prisoners of conscience with Amnesty International and thereafter threw his weight behind the nonprofit.

A rape-themed “Lou Grant” episode that Freeman also directed spawned his 25-year involvement with the Rape Treatment Center of Santa Monica.

“I don’t think I do anything that special,” says the “Lincoln Heights” creator, whose activism was inspired by his father, the late Devery Freeman, a longtime trustee of the Motion Picture and Television Fund and a member of the WGAW’s board of directors. “If I can help out, I try to. I’ve been helped in my career. I believe it takes a village.”

More from the WGA Awards:
WGA quietly girds for next negotations
Steven Zaillian | Diane English | Susannah Grant | Seth Freeman | Mike Scully

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