EXCLUSIVE: Paris Barclay and Jay Roth kicked off their farewell tour last night at the DGA’s annual membership meeting in Hollywood. Barclay will be stepping down as DGA president next month, and Roth recently stepped down as the guild’s longtime national executive director. They’ll reprise their sendoffs next Wednesday at the DGA membership meeting in New York.
Barclay’s second two-year term as president will end next month when delegates gather at the DGA’s biennial convention in Los Angeles to elect a new slate of officers. Roth turned over the guild’s reins to Russ Hollander this month after serving 22 years as the DGA’s top executive.
Barclay’s speech to the members-only meeting last night, he told Deadline, “wasn’t so much of a swan song as it was a thank you to the members for the difference they’ve made in so many ways, and about how strong this guild is.”
The DGA’s new film and TV contract, which includes a tripling of residuals from high-budget SVOD shows, was one of the guild’s major accomplishments during his term, he said. “It’s a forward-thinking deal that will end up reaping major benefits for the members for years to come,” Barclay said.
Barclay, the guild’s first African American president, noted that diversity has been and remains one of the guild’s top priorities. The DGA’s inclusion efforts, he said, “are looking good. We have a report coming out soon, and I feel positive.”
Coming into the job four years ago, he said, he was surprised at how well the guild operated. “It’s the most functional family that I have ever been involved with,” he laughed. “I didn’t expect it to be so functional, but the more I got into the plumbing, the more I found that it was copper-plated.”
The guild’s future, he told Deadline, is bright. “We’ve got good long-term prospects,” he said. “Our pension and health plans are well-funded, and we’ve beefed up our staff, and we’ve got many more boots on the ground and many, many more members are involved.”
The state’s $330 million annual film incentives program, which guild leaders and members lobbied effectively for during his term, “has been huge for our members,” he said. “I know I work much more in town than I use to. It’s pumped $3.9 billion into the state’s economy on $560 million in spending over the last two year, and our members are reaping the benefits.”
At the meeting, he praised, to thunderous applause, Roth’s leadership through eight successful film and TV contract negotiations, and said the guild is in good hands with Hollander – also to roaring applause and a standing ovation.