All Articles Tagged "paris barclay"
Paris Barclay has made history during his long Hollywood career. And now he is celebrating another milestone—he was named the first black president of the Directors’ Guild of America, reports the The Grio. The DGA is a 77–year-old entertainment union that represents the interests of film and television directors.
An Emmy-winning director, Barclay has directed feature films and more than 100 episodes of television shows like The West Wing, Glee, ER, Lost, Law & Order and The Good Wife. He is also the executive producer of FX’s highest rated series, Sons of Anarchy.
Barclay started his career as a music video director after graduating from Harvard. He directed videos for the likes of New Kids on The Block, Janet Jackson, and Luther Vandross. He is now in pre-production on a film about Barbara Jordan, the first African American congresswoman to come from the Deep South. Viola Davis will star.
Barclay is also the first openly gay person to serve as DGA’s president. Prior to this new appointment, Barclay was First Vice-President of the DGA.
For years, there has been media speculation concerning the sexuality of celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Eddie Murphy, Johnny Gill, and more recently, Raven Symone. The trip out of the closet has been a long one for African American celebrities, evident by the fact there aren’t nearly as many out and open black celebrities as there are white. We don’t often see black celebrities walking around, publicly showcasing their love like Sex and the City’s Cythia Nixon and her girlfriend; Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi; or Elton John and David Furnish. That isn’t to say that there aren’t any out African American celebrities though. In fact, we’ve got an entire list of proud gay celebrities.
This comedian has been making people laugh since she began her stand-up career in 1987 at a Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in Washington DC. She got her first big break opening for Chris Rock at Caroline’s Comedy Club, and since then she’s made a career of being an award-winning television and movie actress, stand-up comedian, and writer. Sykes publicly came out on as a lesbian in November 2008 after the passing of Proposition 8 in California.
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Viola Davis is about to take on another iconic movie role, except this time she’s calling the shots. In a project developed by her and her husband, Julius Tennon’s, production company, JuVee, Viola will bring to life the story of political pioneer Barbara Jordan in a new biopic.
Barbara Jordan achieved a number of firsts as an African American woman throughout her career. In 1966, the lawyer became the first African American woman to be elected to the Texas senate. In 1972, she became the first black woman from the South elected to the US House of Representatives (and was only the second elected to Congress after Shirley Chisolm in 1968, who hopefully has a biopic of her own on the way). Barbara was also the first black woman to deliver the keynote address at a national party convention.
According to Variety, the project has been in the works for some time and rights to Mary Beth Rogers’ biography, Barbara Jordan: American Hero, have already been secured. Writer Paris Qualles is said to be adapting the book to trace Barbara’s rise from “a poor Houston neighborhood to an elected member of Congress and an influential figure in liberal politics” for the film, and director Paris Barclay said he is thrilled to be a part of the project:
“In a world of movies about giants and Martians and toys come to life, if you can actually get involved with a movie about a human who single-handedly changed American politics, you say ‘yes.’ We’re hoping this becomes a movie that shows the world everything that Viola can do. People haven’t seen everything that she’s capable of, and this role is so powerful.”
Diane Nabatoff, who will also help produce this work, echoed similar sentiments about Barbara Jordan and Viola Davis’ ability to capture that influence to Variety.
“If you think about Jordan as being one of the most commanding and articulate speakers of her era, who else would you think of (for the role) than Viola Davis? She is so commanding, and she’s got the voice.”
With initial funding already secured, the only remaining hurdle is for the team to find a distributor once the script is complete.
Are you excited to see this project come to life?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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(NPR) — In a dimly lit production room in Hollywood, television director Paris Barclay intently scrutinizes a scene from the HBO show In Treatment. Sprawled over a lumpy brown couch, as if in therapy himself, he narrows his eyes in disapproval as editor Joe Hobeck takes him through a sequence, shot by shot. Barclay directed this episode, and he’s one of the series’ executive producers. “Ewww!” Barclay shouts. “Wait, wait, what’s the shot that’s happening when he gets up and it becomes a nothing shot?” Barclay knows from shots. If you’ve watched even a moderate amount of television in the past 15 years, you’ve seen his work. He has directed such old-school favorites as ER and NYPD Blue as well as the most talked-about newbies, including Glee and The Good Wife. He has directed episodes of The West Wing, House, Lost, CSIand many more, collecting multiple Emmys and Peabody awards along the way. Barclay is the vice president — and first African-American officer — of the Directors Guild of America. And he’s an openly gay man, married with two kids. He’s busy.