Former DGA President Paris Barclay is set to receive the DGA Honorary Life Member Award in recognition of his leadership in the industry, his contribution to the guild and the filmmaking profession and for his professional achievements exceptional. The award will be presented at the 73rd DGA Awards on April 10.
“Paris is one of the statesmen of our industry, and his leadership has been transformative – whether on the creative set of an iconic television, at the negotiating table for our members or as a champion. ‘a fair and equitable world,’ said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “Behind the camera, he is an innovator whose award-winning work is a contemporary part of our culture. And whatever his busy schedule, he always makes room for mentoring, paving the way for so many diverse voices.
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Barclay, who was the guild’s first African-American and openly gay president, served as president of the DGA from 2014 to 2017, with negotiations during his tenure including tripling of streaming residue over the cycle of 2017. As a long-time president and mentor to many industry directors, Barclay has been the driving force behind new inclusion programs, including the Director Development Initiative and TV Director mentorship program. In the years since his presidency, Barclay took on many other guild leadership roles, including serving as co-chair of the Television Creative Rights Committee, Head of the DGA Producers / Directors Workshop, and the one of the creators of the orientation of episodic television directors of the DGA. program. Most recently, Barclay served as Co-Chair of the Covid-19 Safety / Return to Work Committee.
In 2007, Barclay was honored by the guild with the DGA Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for his history of guild service, which began shortly after joining in 1992. His service on the national board of directors of the guild spanned two decades, including several terms as 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.
“As a former president and longtime leader, his innovation has enabled us to move forward into the 21st century and beyond,” said Schlamme. “His accomplishments are too numerous to mention here, but in the past year alone as co-chair of our Covid-19 security negotiating committee, Paris has assumed such an important role that life literally depended on it. Thanks to the state-of-the-art protocols he and the committee fought for, our members and so many creators were able to return to work safely. And just before the Covid-19 crisis, he chaired the most important creative rights televised negotiations we have ever carried out. These are just a few of the many reasons why I am so proud to announce this great Guild honor to my friend and colleague Paris Barclay.
Barclay is currently the director-producer for ABC’s Station 19. Throughout his career, he has directed nearly 200 television episodes and has been a director-producer for series such as Pitch, The Bastard Executioner, Sons of Anarchy, In Treatment, Cold Case, City of Angels and NYPD Blue. He also directed episodes of Glee, House, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, CSI, Lost, The Shield, The West Wing and ER.
Barclay won a DGA Award and two Emmys for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for NYPD Blue. It earned nine additional DGA Award nominations and six additional Emmy nominations for producing and directing. He has been honored with three NAACP Image Awards, three Peabody Awards, two Humanitas Awards and one WGA nomination for the TV movie Pedro. In 2014, he was inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.
Barclay has also directed three films: The Wayans Brothers spoof Don’t be a threat to the south-central drinking your juice in the hood and telefilms The Cherokee Child for HBO and The big moment for TNT. He started his career in advertising as a copywriter, then moved on to directing commercials and music videos for artists such as Janet Jackson, Bob Dylan and LL Cool J.
The DGA Honorary Life Member Award is one of the guild’s highest guilds. Past winners are Michael Apted (2018), Ed Sherin (2012), Bob Iger (2010), Jay D. Roth (2008), John Rich (2003), Gil Cates (1991), Robert E. Wise (1983), Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1981), Lew Wasserman (1975), David Lean (1973), George Sidney (1959), Walt Disney (1955), Louis B. Mayer (1952), Mabel Walker Willebrandt (1939) and Frank Capra ( 1938)).