1st African-American President Of Directors Guild Of America Breaks Boundaries, Opens Doors

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For Black History Month, NewsOne honors GAME CHANGERS: Everyday heroes whose actions make life better for the people around them. SEE ALL OUR GAME CHANGERS HERE.

Paris Barclay Director

Paris Barclay

 

Place of Residence: Los Angeles

Why He’s a Game Changer: Barclay is the first African American and first openly gay president of the Directors Guild of America.

Even if you didn’t know that fact about Barclay, his resume is still quite impressive. Read how Variety Magazine sums up his recent workload:

He’s executive producing the last season of ‘Sons of Anarchy, shooting the 100th episode of ‘Glee,’ and directing an episode of ‘The Good Wife.’ When he was elected last June, Barclay had already directed more than 130 TV episodes.

In other words, Barclay is breaking ground. Looking back over his career, it’s likely you’ve seen something Barclay has directed, produced, or even written. From directing LL Cool J‘s “Mama Said Knock You Out” video to the Wayans’ super silly “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood” to  “NYPD Blue,” or “CSI,” Barclay has been busy.

Sons of Anarchy is the FX network’s highest ever rated show.

“The DGA president traditionally is a working director,” Barclay says. “It makes a difference to be out there in the field.”

Less than a year in to his term, the DGA has a new three-year contract that gives directors a larger cut of revenue that comes from subscription video on demand, which is the wave of the future in the industry.


Being the first Black head of the DGA also means that Barclay is sensitive to diversity issues. The new contract also calls for major television studios to create programs that foster diversity among its directors.

“It’s not surprising that more and more of our members are of different colors and different genders,” Barclay told the Los Angeles Times. “The more important question is, why aren’t the studios and the networks doing a better job as far as hiring talented women and minorities?”

Barclay is also interested in increasing and improving the representation of gay people on the small screen.

“Maybe people think it’s a two strike situation if you have someone who is gay and African American or Asian or Latino; it’s just overwhelming. I think more could be done there,” Barclay told the Backlot.

Listen to Barclay talk about overcoming adversity below:


SEE ALSO: Rainbow PUSH Coalition Honors Media Mogul Cathy Hughes

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