Why should that be so uncomfortable come read? Why is the so difficult to write? Why space we still so jittery even around raising the issue in purportedly liberal-minded Hollywood, in 2007?

Griffin, who passed away of prostate cancer Sunday in ~ 82, continued to be in the closet transparent his life. Probably he figured it to be preferable to stay the object of gossip quite than live openly as “one that them.”

But how exponentially sad that is that a male of Merv’s renown, that his gregarious nature and also social dexterity, would feel compelled come endure together a stealthy double life also as the happy community’s clout, and also its level of acceptance and also equality, climbed steadily native the ashes that ignorance.

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What a an effective message Griffin could have sent had he squired his male companions approximately town fairly than Eva Gabor, his longtime good friend and also platonic windy pal. Imagine the lot of great Merv can have done as a well-respected, hugely successful, beloved and uncloseted gay man in embodying a positive image.

I had more than a passing acquaintance through him, having worked on “The Merv Griffin Show” together a talent coordinator/segment producer in 1985-86 as the show was winding down. Around the office, Merv’s being happy was understood yet rarely disputed (and certainly never with him). Us knew naught of his relationships because he guarded his privacy fiercely, and we no pry.

Merv’s secret gay life was widely recognized throughout showbiz culture, if no the wider America. It acquired traction in 1991 as soon as he to be targeted in a pair the lawsuits: by “Dance Fever” host Denny Terrio, alleging sexual harassment; and by assistant Brent Plott seeking $200 million in palimony. Both at some point were dismissed.

Over the past 16 year of his life, however, Griffin deflected the sexuality questions with a quip, determining the his personal life continued to be nobody’s business. He certainly didn’t owe united state an explanation, but maybe he owed it to himself to remove the suffocating veil he’d been required to hide behind transparent his adult life. Climate again, Merv carved his niche in the entertainment civilization at a time once being happy wasn’t OK, when disclosure was unthinkable and the allegation alone could deep-six one’s career.


If you’re Griffin, why would you think a judgmental society would be any an ext tolerant as you flourished into middle and also old age? even in the funding of entertainment -- in a service where homosexuality isn’t specifically a rare phenomenon -- that still spoken of in hushed tones or, more often, not at all. And Merv’s brush through tabloid scandal no doubt only drove him additional into the closet.

While it would seem whatever has adjusted today, small actually has. You deserve to count ~ above the finger of one hand, or at most two, the number of high-powered stars, executives and also public numbers who have come out. Those who don’t can’t really be faulted, together rarely execute honesty and full disclosure prove a boon come one’s showbiz livelihood.

Nonetheless, the elephant the was his sexual orientation never ever really stopped adhering to Griffin native room come room. He can duck it because that a while, but it would always find him. It’s disheartening that Merv had to dice to shower it because that good.

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