Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nipsey Russell-Gong Moment #5: Gary Coleman's Abuse

What is a “Nipsey Russell-Gong Moment?” Three decades ago, the great entertainer Nipsey Russell was a guest judge on The Gong Show. On one episode, a White male ventriloquist appeared as a contestant. His dummy was white, but he (inexplicably) sloppily painted it brown, hence, it looked a bit like blackface. As the man told bad, though not racist jokes, Russell gonged him. Russell explained that he gonged the man because something just wasn’t right. Sometimes things just feel wrong. If you get that feeling, don’t doubt yourself. Just gong ‘em!

It seems that former Diff’rent Strokes star Gary Coleman secretly married a movie-set extra, Shannon Price, last August. Unlike the popular media, it doesn’t strike me as odd that Coleman was a virgin (“I wasn’t saving myself, she just happened to be the one”). Neither the age difference, nor the height difference, strike me as particularly odd either. He is 40 years old and 4’8”; she is 22 years old and 5’7’. What does strike me as odd, and also bother me enormously, is that this young lady is enduring domestic abuse. According to, Shannon revealed: “we may go a week and not speak to each other…he lets his anger conquer him sometimes…he throws things around, and sometimes he throws it in my direction. I don’t like the violence.”

GONG to Gary Coleman for being a wife batterer. GONG to the popular media (e.g., People; Inside Edition) for making this domestic violence sound like funny ‘odd celebrity news,’ rather than the crime it is.

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