Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Truth on Merv Bubbles Up

The Hollywood Reporter has become the first publication to tell the truth plainly: "Merv Griffin was gay."

Ray Richmond, who worked for Griffin in years past, writes a column for Friday's edition, headlined "Griffin Never Revealed Man Behind the Curtain," excoriating the media for covering up the truth about Griffin's life, and discusses what a difference Griffin himself could have made if he'd just lived his life openly.

A reliable source tells me that the discussion we all had was part of the inspiration for the piece: "The post inspired a number of people to get off their asses and do something."

The fact that this column is coming from within Griffin's world -- a Hollywood trade publication -- certainly blows the lid off the cover-up and I think it will inspire further coverage in the larger media. Let's make sure it gets out there far and wide.

Tom Shales must be having a cow!

UPDATE: Just wanted to clarify that, yes, The New York Times obituary discussed the "insinuations" about Griffin's sexual orientation (without confirmation), but this is the first publication to say it outright as fact, and then of course to take it further and criticize Hollywood and the media.

UPDATE II: JoeMyGod has written an eloquent, terrific piece on all of this, reflecting on his own progression in thought over the period of a few days. I'm really thankful to Joe because early on he talked about how he connected with Merv Griffin's queer sensibility on television and how Merv telegraphed a sense of acceptance of those who were different, even as he was closeted -- and even as Joe has come to rethink his feelings about Griffin. That was a component missing in my own writing, and I appreciated Joe's discussion of it, on the blog and on my show.

UPDATE III: I have replaced the link to the story from the Hollywood Reporter with a Yahoo version of it because the link on the actual Hollywood Reporter site is gone, the story scrubbed, it appears. As someone in the comments pointed out, the same is true on Ray Richmond's own web site -- the column is gone. There could be a logical explanation for this. We re investigating it right now. I'm on the air, but running a a taped interview right now. Will hopefully have more answers later.