Paris Barclay delivers emotional speech upon receiving Guild Honor – Deadline

In this past year of virtual awards ceremonies, it’s not often that we’ve had an emotional moment to really pause, reflect and be moved.

That emotional moment came tonight at DGA’s 73rd Streaming Ceremony, when industry icon Paris Barclay was awarded the Guild Honorary Life Member Award by Ava DuVernay.

DGA and Oscar nominee DuVernay called the 2014-2017 former DGA president “one who stood alone as first in multiple categories over and over again, and used that position not to celebrate himself.” , but to open doors for the second, the third. and the hundreds of us who have followed him: black directors, LBTQ directors, directors who have been seen as others; pushed and left in the margins, edges. Paris is at the center and welcomes us all.

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DuVernay recalls the first time she saw Barclay work on the set of City of Angels when she was a young publicist: “I would watch him do his thing; directing the show, I had never seen anything like it. In full control with full flexibility at the same time. Graceful with brio, attentive but with moxie. And I took note.

Barclay was the first African-American and openly gay president of the DGA. During his three-year tenure, he tripled the streaming residue for members and was the driving force behind new inclusion programs including the Director Development Initiative and Director Mentorship Program. television.

“These things matter, they make a difference,” said DuVernay, “It really only scratches the surface of the huge impact that Paris has had on our guild, on TV, our industry and those of us. who look at it as the bar. “

Accepting the honor, Barclay said: “To receive an award that was first given to DW Griffith in 1938, I think that says a lot about how far this guild has come in a few generations.”

Barclay took the opportunity during his acceptance speech to address his two sons at home about his passion for the DGA, saying: “Cyrus and William, the great philosopher Michael B. Jordan – you know, from Creed and Black Panther- once said, “When personal purpose and meaning align, it enables you to be a man.” I thought my goal was to be a director, a producer, a writer, a professional entertainer, an editor, but I became a man when I realized that everything had to make sense. I found this meaning first by protecting the families I worked with and later by finding out that I could help protect all of the guild members. I learned this because when I first started the guild was constantly protecting me.

“Outside of the guild, I have used my work and my position to advocate for fairness in various organizations, with various series and shows,” Barclay continued. “It became my goal.”

“So, boys, when you’re men, I hope you will be determined men too, whether with a camera or with bugs.” And because you will be black men, growing up in a world that seems more and more hostile to you, just because of the color of your skin, you will have to be stronger. You have to be smarter. And you will have to be more careful. Unfortunately, these are just the facts. But you won’t be alone. So take a look around, and despite the horrors of the news, know that there are more people out there who love than hate. So take every opportunity to join them, to support them, to encourage them, to protect them even if there is a personal sacrifice. You have to find your own guild. Your own collection of people dedicated to improving their piece of the world. So you might not end up with a grand prize, but honestly, as grateful as I am for that, it’s not about people cheering you on and thanking you. It is about applauding them, thanking them and serving them.

In the years since Barclay’s presidency, he took on many other guild leadership roles, including serving as co-chair of the TV Creative Rights Committee, Head of the DGA Producers / Directors Workshop, and one of the creators of the DGA Episodic Television Director Orientation Program. . Most recently, Barclay served as co-chair of the Covid-19 Safety / Return to Work Committee.

In 2007, he was honored by the guild with the DGA Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for his history of service to the organization, which began shortly after he became a member in 1992. His service on the board The guild’s national administration spanned over two decades, including several terms as both 1st and 3rd Vice-President, as well as his service on the Western Board of Directors. He is a founding member and former co-chair of the Diversity Working Group, past chair and long-time member of the PAC Leadership Council, and former co-chair of the African American Steering Committee.

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