Gary Coleman died on May 28, 2010, and, according to Vic Perillo, his burial plans are still on hold because of a legal wrangle between his parents and his estranged wife.
In an essay obtained by WENN, in which Perillo urges the news networks who covered all the negatives of Coleman's life after he passed away to pay tribute to the former child star, he writes, "This was not the proper and dignified manner to show respect for the magnificent talent the world TV and film audience knew in Gary Coleman. This was not the send off he deserved."
He adds, "Unfortunately we learn of the great works and noble deeds of a person upon their death and at their memorial. Gary's deeds and contributions to the entertainment industry and other endeavors were overshadowed by the desire of the media to stay focused on the misfortunes of his life and all the negatives."
"Gary's downfall was not entirely of his own doing. He had help. There exist within the film and television industry those who make up the body of the Peripheral Industry. The new age life coaches to the stars, the managers and consultants, who have categorically destroyed the lives and careers of many performers. Gary Coleman was a victim of the Peripheral Industry, not of his parents."
"On this, the first anniversary of his death, I have contacted the three major (U.S. TV) networks, asking them to honor Gary, his eight years on 'Diff'rent Strokes', his seven movies of the week, his work as a spokesman with the National Kidney foundation and the many charitable endeavors he gave of his time and effort to."
"The answer from the networks were, 'Not interested,' 'We don't have any time' and 'We pass...' To praise his work, talent and his person is of little interest to them. And yet, should his ex-wife, Shannon Price, or ('Diff'rent Strokes' co-star) Todd Bridges make a statement condemning his parents, they are given Carte Blanch time in the press. Have we lost our theatrical moral conscience?"