Out Magazine Defends My Coverage Of Andrew Embiricos' Death

Categories: Celebs

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Patrick McMullan

Andrew Embiricos -- a personable, charming guy who happened to be the grandson of screen legend Rita Hayworth -- was found dead a few days ago, and it was announced as a probable suicide.

I promptly posted my own point of view, which dissented from that idea, and in the process, I reported various facts about Andrew.

And now Out has stood behind me against some of the shame-based outrage that greeted my honest but positive reportage. (Thank you, Aaron Hicklin.)

Also, today's New York Post details Andrew's loved ones' agreement that Andrew's death was more likely to have been an accident, not suicide.

Just sharing.



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30 comments
Jorge Rubirosa
Jorge Rubirosa

Well, shall he rest in peace, it's final, what's the use of how or  whyLife is challenging, and often tragicDeath wish, no father presence, drugs, rehabs, too much money, fatal formulavery sad! Karma!My condolences to Princess Yasmine

Dan
Dan

what a hypocrite you are . Just recently was it not you who screaming that Out Magazine owed you money ? Now in a desperate attempt to validate your remarks you are joining forces. What a pair you make.

Riorita
Riorita

Who is the reporting of AIDS shaming? His family?? Well, shame on them if they consider it an embarrassment!

Guest
Guest

Andrew openly flaunted his "biohazard" tattoo, including on his profile photos. He made no secret of his HIV status. He also made no secret of his fetishistic behavior. There's nothing wrong with any of this--and there's nothing wrong with reporting on them either.

Stevensandersnyc
Stevensandersnyc

Michael,

Shame on you for your salacious reporting. I thought you of all people would set the bar higher. Shame Shame Shame

Molly
Molly

All of you people commenting on this are so ignorant. Andrew was a good friend of mine. We grew up together. Think about people who actually knew him and loved him. He was young. He made some reckless choices, as all of us do as young people. The article was offensive and distasteful. You sensationalized his death and revealed things that were inappropriate. He was a humanitarian. He was active in the community working with the homeless to alzheimers foundations and HIV awareness and research. He was hilarious and lovely and lit up the room and made everyone smile. You should be ashamed for the article you wrote. It was not journalism or news. You hurt people who were already hurting, deeply. Nothing good came from what you said and it benefitted no one. I hate you. We lost someone very very special and in the middle of intense pain you added more. You should apologize. I hope someday the affect this article had on a precious man and all the people who loved him hits you, hard. You need to work on being a better person. You should have died instead of him. 

Farquar
Farquar

Your coverage was honest and fair and positive. It was reporting! That's what reporters do--but you did it with realness mixed with sensitivity. Everyone needs to get over it.

Shane Tate
Shane Tate

Michael I used to be a fan of your blogs even though on occasion I feel you can be really cruel.This was the last straw. What you wrote was completely out of line and honestly in the poorest of taste. I'm done with you and the Voice.

Shane

Lorajmcmillan
Lorajmcmillan

You can tell by his smile in photos, that he was the kind of guy who lit up a room. Michael, you reported this story accurately and were respectful at the same time. I don't understand why/how someone can have unprotected sex, clearly Andrew lived on the wild side. May he rest in peace.

Nonplussed
Nonplussed

I'm sorry?A handsome, privileged young man who has aired his sexual activity publicly, is descended from both The Prophet and Rita Hayworth, dies needlessly and pointlessly young, seemingly by his own hand, and this is not, vulgarly, obviously, a news worthy?Oh? Of course! He was a great humanitarian. Not really. Publish and be damned Mr Musto, but publish absolutely,all the news that's fit to print and then some.This is a shitstorm in a teacup.

Stentorian
Stentorian

Rock on, Musto man. You riled em up with the truth once again.

GustyWinds
GustyWinds

I didn't know the young gay man who died recently in chelsea, very well, who was grandson to Rita Hayworth. But what I am reading sounds awfully sad. Instead of being remembered for being what seems to a wonderfully kind, charismatic , giving person. He will be remembered for the sensationalism of his death. Whether it was by his own hand or an accident due to something sexual. I say who cares. I do not sum up the entirety of a person based on their last moments here on this earth. Oh, and these are my feelings on sex: What goes on between two consenting legal adults or One adult by themselves is their business. One persons bizarre is another's normal.

Gregorama
Gregorama

This article from "Out" really made it clear to me why this issue has become such a powderkeg.  In their words, "...to die as a victim of persecution reinforces a familiar narrative"--i.e., the sad, desperate fag with nothing to live for is more "palatable" that the distasteful idea that it might have been some kind of auto-sexual act gone wrong.  There seems to be a whole lot of "messenger killing" going on.  You, Michael, were reporting the facts as you knew them...which, last time I checked, is what a journalist is supposed to do. 

In any case...all things considered, don't you wish you'd stayed on vacation?

John Meier
John Meier

I think this sums it up...."Dear Michael Musto, Aaron Hicklin, and the rest of the Out Magazine editors, As members of the large yet very tight-knit gay community in New York, it should come as no shock to you all that we have reacted with such passion in regards to the articles written about Andrew Embiricos' death. Andrew was well-loved by many in our community, as made apparent by the public outrage over your coverage of his unfortunate passing.  He was someone who was generous and brave, yet modest about his upbringing.  Witty, smart, and joyful are all descriptions of Andrew that could be universally agreed upon.  He had a good heart and a smile that was infectious. What is particularly disheartening about Musto’s and Out’s coverage of Andrew’s death is the sensationalism of circumstances in Andrew’s life that have very little significance in regards to this tragedy.  Musto exploited a personal relationship he had with Andrew posthumously to have the “juiciest scoop” on his passing.  While many of the details in his “article” were facts, they were simply items that were not relevant to the tragedy at hand. Andrew was always very open and honest about his HIV status to people in his life.  Conversely, he’s never put out a press release stating that yes, he in fact is HIV positive.  He did not die due to do complications from HIV.  The inclusion of his status in the article is inappropriate given that it inconsequential to his passing.  It reads as a cheap attempt to include more “dirt” about Andrew that maybe a reader outside of his large circle of influence may not know. Out magazine brazenly chose to use a screen capture of an amateur porn video Andrew made when he was 21 as the main photo for the article.  This, coupled with the many personal details and speculation from Musto, made for articles that read as totally salacious.  They came off as hot gossip scoops from the National Enquirer rather than  pieces written by peers and acquaintances of Andrew.  The few positive musings about Andrew’s life were buried deep into a painting of a subversive lifestyle. Contrary to Musto’s and Out’s reply to criticism, it is far less painful to accept that he may he have died accidentally rather than taken his own life.  The idea of a friend dealing with such internal turmoil in this manner is a harder pill to swallow than accepting it as an accident, even if the accident may have been sex-driven.  Whatever the circumstances leading to his death may be, it is petty and gossipy to hypothesize about what may or may not have happened simply based on events in his past. During a time when our community mourns – a community that includes both Musto and editors of Out – I believe sympathy and grace should take precedence over sensationalism. 

Anthony
Anthony

They took the article down, how are they backing you up? You have confused me Musto, as most of your actions do.

Meditterania
Meditterania

does anyone care to take us a bit higher view of heart and commend him for his charities!! My God ..Andrew  created charities lifting people off the curb .. Nyc Homeless and Alzheimers Foundation just to name a few ... I guess he wasnt respected or understood by his community ... and it shows the crucifying or the telenovela article ..... or is it that  the gay community  are wearing the same "shades" for a while now .. I think OUT has been OUTTED as an enemy of the gay community ... a bully of sorts... and their writing of the article that they ended up taking down is  Fagggotry at its best.. something .. that the gay community has been trying to shake off forever..Respect is a Birthright  and that is what the rainbow flag is all about..  OUTjust doesnt have the capacity to capture the legacey of a young man whose light will contiue to live on here on earth ... I'm disappointed with OUT! as thousands are today!

mattsy
mattsy

what a sad story. good job reporting it MM

Garrettlauren
Garrettlauren

You were all over yesterday's NY Post with this!!!

Redondo
Redondo

Not surprising that so many drug using promiscuous queens with HIV seem to think that any mention of that stuff is in bad taste.

Pear
Pear

I agree with everything you and Out wrote!

FeRD
FeRD

...Really? You were looking to the bitchy gossip queen, "of all people", as your moral compass on this one?

Ed
Ed

I think Michael Musto's article was very fair and compassionate. Given the circumstances of his death, his entire life is relevant. Its not like he fell off a ladder painting the ceiling. He didn't try too hard to keep any aspect of his life a secret. And, in fact, it helps us to understand that his life was not so unusual or shameful: that a respectable, educated, giving person can have a variety of interests, that sometimes can be self destructive. Michael Musto eloquently reported and understood the complexity of Andrew Embiricos. In addition, his celebrated heritage of glamour, fame and wealth made him newsworthy.

Dan
Dan

Saying that he thought it was an accident would be one thing; sharing additional personal facts as to why he thought that, facts which really shouldn't be public (particularly given the family's request for privacy), is another.  

And MM was not simply reporting as a journalist.  He was reporting as a "friend," as he is quoted as in almost every article I've seen on the matter.  And if he was indeed a "friend," he wasn't a very respectful one.

Lavoris
Lavoris

"the large yet very tight-knit gay community in New York"

You lost me after this.

Zeus7391
Zeus7391

May God watch over him and my deepest sympathy to his dear Mother.

Chris
Chris

I agree with Molly.  I knew Andrew for years.   Your entire statement is offensive.  If OUT stands by their coverage and original article, then why is it no longer available for your viewing.

molly
molly

I am none of those things and I thought it was in bad taste, because it was. Did you know Andrew? Obviously not. Shut the hell up.

Gregorama
Gregorama

Quote:  "I knew Andrew Embiricos from the scene." Unquote.  That's how he opened yesterday's article.  He didn't claim to be his "friend" in any way.  Whether The Post or any other source refers to him as a "friend" is not MM's doing but their own journalistic interpretation.

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