Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Paris Barclay: Out director talks 'Anarchy,' Barbara Jordan
by Terri-Lynne Waldron

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Chicago native Paris Barclay is a director, producer and writer who has worked on Glee, Smash and Sons of Anarchy and the TV movies Hate and Pedro. The married father of two opened up about being called a "gay-identifying" artist, being an inspiration for all Americans and the importance of a Barbara Jordan biopic.

Windy City Times: In 2004 you spoke at the Black Images On Screen festival in Chicago at Columbia College. You were paraphrased as saying that you plan to retire soon from producing and directing so you can explore the challenges of writing.

Paris Barclay: That is a mischaracterization of what I actually said. What I believe I said was that I wanted to shift the focus to doing more writing, and not just doing producing and directing. In the past nine years I started to do that.

WCT: At that festival you were billed as a "gay-identifying" artist. Do you think that it is important for gay artists to create art that speaks to their sexual orientation?

PB: I think it may be helpful to the world at large but I don't think we should impose any pre-conceptions on what artists who identify as gay do. It would be a little like saying artists who are African-Americans should only do African-American stories and should emphasize that. My feeling has always been that you should tell stories based on your experience and things that move you.

WCT: Do you come back to Chicago regularly?

PB: At least once a year to see my family. My parents are still there, and many of my sisters and brothers are still in the Chicagoland area. Certainly at Christmas time I try to get back to experience the cold. [Laughs]

WCT: There is talk that Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter plans to end the show after the seventh season.

PB: That's the current plan that I've heard. People who watch Sons of Anarchy know it has echoes of Shakespeare's Hamlet and they know a little bit of the plot if they know about the plot machinations of that play. Then they can expect certain things to happen in the course of finishing the Sons of Anarchy story.

WCT: Tell me about directing the music video for LL Cool J's song "Big Ole Butt," and more recently for his song "Take It."

PB: The video for "Big Ole Butt" was the first video where I started a relationship with LL Cool J and that helped to develop my career. I have always stayed in touch with him and we only live a couple of miles away. When he called and said, "Hey, I have a new record and I want you to come and listen to it," I jumped at the chance.

WCT: You won two Emmys for directing episodes of NYPD Blue. In 2012 you and your husband, Christopher Barclay, were awarded a Family Values Award from In the Life Media, given to "individuals whose representation of LGBT families serve as an inspiration for all Americans." Which award is more fulfilling?

PB: Emmys do more for your career, but in terms of putting a message out there that we care about, you can't really top being acknowledged for family values. We adopted our two children from the Los Angeles County foster-care system and we're really proud of that because there are so many kids that are in foster care that don't get adopted. L.A. is one of those places that, as a gay couple or as a gay individual, there is not a barrier based on your sexual orientation.

WCT: Tell me about developing, producing and directing the biopic about lesbian U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

PB: Whenever I mention Barbara Jordan I'm always stunned that people don't know of her as the first African-American woman in Congress from Texas. She is a heroic larger-than-life figure, who did so much good and was out there, but at the same time she was so quiet and discreet about whom she loved in private. I find it very intriguing and a good foundation for a motion picture.

WCT: And Viola Davis is playing the lead?

PB: Yes. I think she's one of the best actresses in the world. I've seen a few bad movies that Viola Davis has been in, but I've never seen Viola Davis be bad in a movie.

WCT: How progressive has Hollywood's representation of gay characters and Black gay characters been, and what work needs to be done?

PB: I will be one of the people who says more work needs to be done. I'm really proud of the character that Alex Newell plays on Glee, who is an African-American gay man who identifies as a woman. I think Sam on Smash is also a really nice and balanced portrayal of an African-American gay man. I think what we'll see in the next 10 years is just more gay men of different colors involved in relationships and in stories and that being less and less of an issue of conversation—just being more of a fact in life.

Get your Glee fix Thursday nights on Fox, look for the sixth season of Sons of Anarchy to debut this October on FX and watch Smash Saturday nights on NBC. For more info visit and .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Reports: Wachowski back in the Matrix 2019-08-21 - Transgender filmmaker and Chicago native Lana Wachowski announced Aug. 20 that she would be directing a fourth Matrix film, according to Variety. Wachowski ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Tituss Burgess, IMDb, Halsey, Stephen Colbert, 'Queer As Folk' 2019-08-21 - Quibi has greenlit Dishmantled—described as "a high-octane cooking competition that will literally blow your socks off," with Tituss Burgess ( Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; ...

Gay News

10 Questions with Vic Featuring Xabiani Ponce de Leon 2019-08-15 - It's hard to stand out as an actor during a film festival such as Outfest where over 150 films are screened within nine ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Elm Street,' 'Crime Story,' Tab Hunter, Lady Gaga 2019-08-14 - Gay actor Marc Patton is returning to the big screen, as himself, with the documentary Scream, Queen: My Nightmare On Elm Street, The ...

Gay News

Reeling LGBTQ film festival announces film line up 2019-08-12 - ( August 12, 2019 - Chicago, IL ) Reeling, the second-oldest LGBTQ film festival in the world and a beloved Chicago cultural institution ...

Gay News

UPDATE: Travolta to attend Wizard World Comic Con 2019-08-12 - This year's Wizard World Comic Con Chicago will take place Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 22-25, at Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River ...

Gay News

FILM Fawzia Mirza, Kathy Griffin and much more at Outfest 2019-08-06 - Founded by UCLA students in 1982, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit film festival Outfest celebrated 37 years of bringing LGBTQ stories to the screen. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Comic-book heroes, Cara and Ashley, Chris Pine, Pride Summit 2019-08-06 - The animated character Aquaman was confirmed to be LGBT+ on the latest episode of Young Justice: Outsiders—the DC Universe's animated show about teenage ...

Gay News

Gene Siskel Film Center to present Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am Aug. 23-29 2019-08-06 - As a venue that celebrates all art forms and a public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Gene ...

Gay News

Pride Films and Plays to produce A Man of No Importance 2019-08-02 - Chicago, IL - Pride Films and Plays will stage the first Chicago production in more than a decade of A MAN OF NO ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.