Merv Griffin was gay.
Why should that be so uncomfortable to read? Why is it so difficult to write? Why are we still so jittery even about raising the issue in purportedly liberal-minded Hollywood, in 2007? We can refer to it casually in conversation, but the mainstream media somehow remains trapped in the Dark Ages as relates to the gay label.
You can count on the fingers of one hand, or at most two, the number of high-powered stars, executives and public figures who have come out. Those who don’t can’t really be faulted, either, as rarely do such honesty and vulnerability prove a boon to one’s showbiz livelihood.
Richmond writes with affection and respect about Griffin, and about the uneasiness still lingering in the corridors of Hollywood power. And of course, he’s got a reader who’s shocked.