The African American
Steering Committee of the Director’s Guild of America recently honored TV directing pioneers Stan Lathan, Debbie Allen, and Eric
Laneuville for their outstanding careers in television and their groundbreaking
contributions to greater diversity behind the camera.
The committee, which is co-chaired by DGA member directors
Jeff Bryd, Oz Scott (another TV
directing pioneer) and Carl Seaton held
the event last Thursday, which started off with a speech by Paris Barclay, the first African American
president of the Guild (yet another TV directing pioneer).
According to Seaton: “many heavyweights came out to pay tribute
to the three honorees such as Viola
Davis, James Pickens Jr., Thomas Carter (yet another TV directing pioneer) ,
Russell Simmons, and John Singleton. The crowd was treated to a brief but
uproariously funny stand speech by Dave Chappelle who came to pay his respects
to Stan Lathan. The
event was poignant, enlightening and laugh out loud funny. These three
directors have over 500 hours of television between them. To celebrate them was
an honor and the event was an event of genuine inspiration and upliftment.”
Seaton is absolutely right, when you consider how the honorees
paved the way for so many directors of color who followed in their paths, as well as the breadth
and depth of what these esteemed directors have done. Just go to Imdb.com to
see their extensive lists of credits, which are way too numerous to even just mention
a partial listing here.