“AND FLASH GORDON WAS THERE IN SILVER UNDERWEAR”

American-born Canadian teleplay writer Denis McGrath died in March. The cause was cancer.

Bloggers, and Brad Wheeler in the Globe, did nothing but lie by omission about one lengthy and sordid period in McGrath’s history. In fact, Wheeler’s obituary carried the headline “Denis McGrath was a brilliant TV writer known for his sly humour.”

Yet so many of his victims will recall McGrath’s relentless online abuse and harassment. He spent years living up to what I now see is the gold standard of any vaguely left-wing establishment, into which category screenwriting surely falls. McGrath behaved as cruelly and brutally as possible toward real or perceived enemies – relentlessly and with the goal of destroying them. As ever, when those enemies dared to complain, the entire message in response was “This is the least you deserve.” Denis McGrath was an early feral hack.

I speak as a serial victim of this deranged harasser. For a time when I was editing the Tea Makers, I deserved some measured degree of retaliation for basically calling him fat all the time. But only some retaliation and only if measured, for I soon decided that even sidelong references to him in that vein were not just wrong by hypocritical. I spent a long time editing every such reference on the site, even in commenters’ texts, some of which I just deleted wholesale. I disclosed exactly what I was doing and why. In short, I tried to improve.

But I also made sure to paraphrase Roger Ebert: Denis McGrath may someday be thin, but he will always be the writer of Charlie Jade.

Indeed, this creator of especially unwatchable Canadian television series was unpopular even in his own peer group. I know that from what several have told me to my face and from direct observation of his friendlessness. That means not very much, except that it undercuts the theme of the various encomia to this harasser, which would have you believe he was a Santa Claus figure.

Recall that this nasty pile of hamburger accused me, a known homosexualist, of staring at Karen Walton’s tits during the one and only time I was allowed to address this doyenne of Canadian television. (How Dorian Gray–like an accusation, as McGrath, who indeed was a fat fuck when I knew him, carried quite the rack himself.) I can further tell you now that he threatened me in E‑mail, a medium in which he acted even more contemptuous than in public postings. I have a record of his actively defaming me on Twitter.

(Coverage. I checked through the entire Tea Makers archive and my memory is correct. Brad Wheeler had ages before publication to follow up on the issues I have raised here, as I also raised them with him. He chose to lie by omission.)

I read that McGrath had cancer for four years. That is more than enough time to repent, atone, or at the very least apologize to one’s victims. McGrath did nothing of the sort, because, I conclude, yea unto his deathbed he believed in what he was doing.

As we all contain multitudes, it would be unfair to describe Denis McGrath as a monster. He was a monster only part of the time. But in that time, he did all the damage he possibly could. His friends took his side; they take his side even now, posthumously; and, showing their true colours, they will carry on his tradition.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2017.05.26 13:34. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2017/05/26/mcgrathtits/

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