What should have been a once-in-a-lifetime memory quickly turned ugly for “Gary from Chicago”.
Gary Alan Coe was arguably the star of the 2017 Acadamy Awards after host Jimmy Kimmel pulled an epic stunt and ushered an unsuspecting crowd of Hollywood tourists into the Dolby Theatre.
“It was great for my family and friends to see me on the Oscars,” Coe, 60, told The Hollywood Reporter. “But two days later, [the media] tried to make it something ugly.”
As it turned out, Coe was recently released from prison after serving 20 years under California’s controversial three-strikes law. The first strike was for an attempted rape decades earlier, meaning Coe is a registered sex offender.
“It was horrible,” he said of the subsequent media coverage. “I didn’t ask to be put on the Oscars. I was minding my own business, walking down the street. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s crazy — that’s America for you.'”
Afterall, Coe explained, there are plenty of people to villainize in Hollywood already.
“And how about the way it’s come down? Look what happened to Harvey Weinstein!” said Coe. “Come to find out that the people up in really high places are the ones we should’ve been watching, and not some poor little black guy that’s been locked away in prison for the last 20 years!”
“Gary from Chicago” had a turbulent week following the Oscars with the end of his engagement and the death of his twin brother.
Fortunately for Coe, he is now engaged to another woman and living in Fresno, California.