PREACH IT! The penis stays in the picture
Poor Gary Coleman. He tries to break up a locker room fight on camera, he gets his private parts captured on film for the world to see.
Coleman then flies to Los Angeles to prevent the footage from airing, and he ends up in the hospital after an apparent seizure.
Now comes even more headaches for the onetime "Diff’rent Strokes" megastar: Less than a day after getting out of the hospital, Coleman has learned that the footage of his penis will be going public whether he likes it or not.
The Coleman movie in question is called "Midgets vs. Mascots," and it’s just that -- a documentary about little people like Coleman taking on mascots in a "Jackass"-style competition for a million-dollar prize.
But no go.
"With regards to Gary Coleman's displeasure with a scene in the film in which he briefly shows full frontal nudity,” the producers said in a prepared statement, “the producers of the film have multiple contracts -- signed by Gary -- which give the filmmakers full rights and permissions to shoot any and all footage, including nudity, during the making of the film. Therefore, we have no plans to remove that particular scene from the film. We met with Gary this morning and he is aware of our decision."
Score one against the “midgets.”
Still, Coleman isn’t finished yet. His reps tell me he plans to contact a lawyer about his legal options. The people at RCMVM had no further comment, though there are still plans for a limited release of the film in Dallas and Houston on Jan. 15, and there has been talk of a DVD release in February.
One other item of note: That piece of footage we linked to up there? Showing Coleman in the locker room right before the exposure of the private parts?
Gary's people sent us that.
As a personal thank you to them, I will not be renting "Midgets vs. Mascots"; I may, however, watch that YouTube footage several hundred more times. And pass it on to all my friends. But that's it. Promise.
-- Leslie Gornstein
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Top photo: Gary Coleman in 2005 as a correspondent for All Comedy Radio, talking to reporters outside Santa Maria Superior Court during the first day Michael Jackson's child molestation trial. Credit: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times.
Sequence of photos, right: Gary Coleman being interviewed Aug. 14, 2003, on KTLA as a candidate for California governor, top; on the "Today" show in New York on Feb. 26, 2008; arriving at the LG's Mobile TV Party at Paramount Studios on June 19, 2007; and at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 24, 2000, in Los Angeles. Credits, from top right: Fred Prouser / Reuters; Richard Drew / Associated Press; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Dave Hogan / Getty Images.