Charles Perez | Discrimination | Miami | News

Gay Miami News Anchor Charles Perez Calls Demotion 'Discrimination'

Gay WPLG-ABC news anchor Charles Perez, who was demoted from weeknights to weekends, has filed a discrimination complaint with Miami-Dade's Equal Opportunity Board claiming that the station was uncomfortable with "the increasingly high profile of [his] sexual orientation," the Miami Herald reports:

Charlesperez "The filing summary details Perez's quick descent at Channel 10, which began weeks after a March 3 performance review, when Perez says that WPLG News Director Bill Pohovey told him he was 'too anchor-like and too ‘Brian Williams' in my delivery.' On March 16, a private e-mail from Perez written to a family therapist was forwarded to everyone in the reporter's online address book. The e-mail said Perez told the therapist he needed to work through his 'gender identity issues.' Three days later, Pohovey called Perez into his office for a 'new' performance review, this time saying that Perez came across 'too soft,' didn't sound 'main anchor-like' and smiled too much with co-anchor Laurie Jennings. 'Like girlfriends.' On April 3, Perez went to court seeking a restraining order against his former partner, Dennis Ricardo Peña, whom he accused of leaking the private e-mail. Later that month, Perez claims he 'began to disappear'' from station promotional spots. He lost the weeknight anchor seat July 22."

Read the Perez complaint (PDF) and the station's rebuttal (DOC).

You may remember Perez from the nationally-syndicated Charles Perez Show,
AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Isnt this the same guy that dated Norman from the first season of "The Real World' back in 1992? Why is his being gay such a shock 17 years later?

    Posted by: Jack | Aug 4, 2009 1:14:29 PM


  2. That sucks! Especially considering the ex was the one who leaked the email... I hate bitter guys who can't get over a break up maturely

    Posted by: dom | Aug 4, 2009 1:15:46 PM


  3. I love Charles Perez, but he needs to realize that you can't bring drama and personal issues to work and expect to keep your job...especially when it's high profile and you are supposed to be a pleasant mannequin with no baggage or agenda.

    He would be better off moving into a new area like activism or entertainment reporting -- Extra, Inside Edition, Access Hollywood, The Insider -- they don't seem to have issues with a colorful personal life that some "serious" local news program would have.

    He still looks absolutely gorgeous after all these years.

    Posted by: paul c | Aug 4, 2009 1:25:17 PM


  4. His coanchor was Laurie Jennings who is the biggest airhead I have ever seen in a news show - she just reads the script and couldn't offer a meaningful comment on a story if she had to, just inane BS. If it was for budget reasons as the station claims, they would have moved Laurie and kept their true talent on weeknights.

    Posted by: Hank | Aug 4, 2009 1:26:48 PM


  5. Hell hath no fury like an ex-amante scorned! What a sh*t ese pendejo Pena is to have forwarded that personal email.

    Posted by: mikeyj | Aug 4, 2009 1:46:56 PM


  6. Aside from any monetary damages he might receive - and they might be very significant - I'm not sure what Perez will gain from this. He will most likely not get his anchor slot back and he has shown that he can be a problem for another station. Would he simply have been better off to go on to his next job elsewhere?

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Aug 4, 2009 1:47:07 PM


  7. It sucks what the news station is doing to him but I'm curious: has Charles Perez ever come out or spoken publicly about being gay?

    Posted by: rob | Aug 4, 2009 1:59:41 PM


  8. He was criticized for being too "anchor-like"? Isn't that his job?

    My ex recently deleted my entire work email account. Nice. Luckily I got it restored. Email can be trouble.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 4, 2009 2:44:53 PM


  9. I do remember Perez' syndicated show and enjoyed it thoroughly. Despite his coverboy looks it never occurred to me he's gay. He's a talented journalist with power and insight. These courageous gifts are probably wasted on an anchor position anyway, and I hope he lands in some other spotlight.

    As for Perez's ex: needs to review the true meaning of the word love.

    Posted by: emarell | Aug 4, 2009 2:53:56 PM


  10. We had the same thing happen in Indy in the 80s. When it got leaked that a local news anchor was gay, the guy was first moved to weekends and then disappeared altogether. I don't think he's even in the business any more. Sad.

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 4, 2009 3:05:38 PM


  11. I thought the fact that he was gay was supposed to be a secret? Oh well. Why do queens always have to be so nasty to the ones they claim to love most?

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Aug 4, 2009 3:32:05 PM


  12. Ha! Princess Closet Case wants protection from gay discrimination?

    I dont' care what he shoves up his ass, but I'm disgusted that he wants it BOTH ways.

    For YEARS he played coy and never took a stand about gay issues. Living in NYC, on TV, hitting the gay bars, he NEVER was a friend to the community, nevertheless a MEMBER! And now he wants to cry discrimination?

    Well, sister, to paraphrase a popular gay bumper sticker - When they came for the closeted gay TV personalities - there was no one left to stand up for me.....

    Posted by: OttoErotica | Aug 4, 2009 3:53:41 PM


  13. Charles has been publicly out for several years, since shown dating Norman Korpi during the first edition of MTV's "Real World"...ye gads...17 years ago.

    He has participated in several gay/AIDS charity events, and appeared on Larry King's show in 2000 defending marriage equality.

    A few years, I had occasion to exchange e-mails with him in relation to a charity event I was working on and found him to be an extremely thoughtful and gracious man.

    Miami has come a long way since the heyday of Anita Bryant, and may be a notorious gay playground, but politically it remains pretty much in the backwaters despite the tireless efforts of many dedicated people such as former "Amazing Race" winner Chip Arndt who's president of the local LGBT Democratic club, Freedom Democrats. So I'm not surprised a TV station would be apparently taking the low road.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Aug 4, 2009 3:55:44 PM


  14. ABC seems to have no problem with Sam Champion...who is about as out as Charles Perez... don't ask, don't tell, but show up at gay bars and AIDS fundraisers....

    Posted by: qjersey | Aug 4, 2009 4:42:17 PM


  15. I have great respect, sincerely, for the excellent Leonardmatlovich site and it's support of queers in the military.

    But I have to question that Charles Perez was ever 'out' and ever did one thing for the gay community beyond showing up for events as a GUEST and not as a GAY.

    During the 90's when he lived in NYC, he was not only closeted, but ignored all attempts to support the gay community as he enjoyed the city as a sexually active gay man. ACT UP NY sought him out and repeatedly requested his help during the height of the crisis. He was silent.

    I would be really curious to see any proof or documentation that Perez supports any cause as an openly gay man. I don't mean this as a challenge, I sincerely would be interested if he's had such an about face since his youth. Anyone?

    Posted by: OttoErotica | Aug 4, 2009 5:03:40 PM


  16. When he dated Norman on the Real World - he denied it afteward ... douche .... KARMA is a bitch. Gender Identity issues ... please unhappy affluent people really need to get away from their therapists.

    Posted by: Willie | Aug 4, 2009 5:17:11 PM


  17. VP and News Director Bill Pohovey said “This is an outrageous accusation. As a gay man myself, I can safely say the Station does not discriminate against gay people. Charles’ claim that the Station discriminates against gay people is untrue and offensive.”

    Sound like the fame whore is going to loose when the guy who he claims is discriminating against him is openly gay as well (of course it COULD happen as a biased business decision - there are corrupt immmoral openly gay people too).

    Posted by: Willie | Aug 4, 2009 5:22:53 PM


  18. News at 11!

    Posted by: anon | Aug 4, 2009 5:29:17 PM


  19. Latin Drama

    Posted by: chasmader | Aug 4, 2009 5:40:29 PM


  20. sorry, but screw "Perez" (which is not his birth name but his mom's maiden name that he adopted to sound ethnic). Another example of white gay male priviledge. He's never cared squat for the gay community, living in his glass closet and reaping all the rewards it afforded him. Now, of course, since he isn't get "the respect that he feels entitled to" then all hell must break loose and he gets to play the "gay card". So glad another truly open gay male is there to counter his hypocritical bull. And I don't care how "nice" he comes across.

    Posted by: Dave | Aug 4, 2009 6:15:12 PM


  21. As for the idea that gays can't oppress other gays...it happens all the time...PARTICULARLY in "show biz" which is what TV news is.

    @ OttoErotica:

    Thank you for your extremely kind comment re leonardmatlovich.com.

    As for Charles' public actions as a gay man, here are relevant portions of the exchange from the 2000 appearance on Larry King that I mentioned. It was after the passage of Prop 22—the first referendum banning marriage equality in California—and Perez was standing up to that homophobic pig Dennis Prager AND the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary AND a guy from "Gays FOR Prop 22." [I have no idea if the relationship he spoke of then was with the person who just betrayed him]:

    PRAGER: …Doesn't a baby have a civil right to a mother and father?

    KING: Charles, how do you respond?

    PEREZ: Absolutely, but that's not the point, OK. Babies are out there who need families, who need someone to love them and take care of them, to raise them, regardless of whether or not the parents are gay or straight. This is not a problem of whether or not we're deciding whether or not to give children to gay or straight families.

    PRAGER: Well, sure it is that problem. As soon as there would be marriage, then the state could never discriminate on behalf of a man and a woman.

    PEREZ: No, and to back up for a second, the question here, if you want to talk about the sanctity of marriage, why is it some guy can go to Vegas, meet some woman and a half hour later get married in some chapel, and we accord all the rights of society to that person, to that relationship. There could be two people who have been together for 30 years, have shared everything in their lives, who love each other dearly, and we will not as a society acknowledge and recognize that relationship.

    PEREZ: ... is, in my life, in my relationship, I wanted to make sure that we each have the rights of a heterosexual couple, so we went to an attorney, and we did everything we can to draw up those rights -- bereavement rights -- or excuse me -- inheritance, power of attorneys, all kinds of things. It cost us $4,000 to $5,000, OK? There are ways to get around some of this, not all of it, but some of it and do it. And I thought to myself, what about those people? What about the people who don't have $4,000 to $5,000 to spend on an attorney? Shouldn't they get these rights? Shouldn't they protect themselves?
    ...
    PRAGER: Marriage is not a right. This whole thing is really, I think, dishonest -- yes, marriage is given by society. If America votes...

    KING: You can deny it?

    PRAGER: That's right. And it is denied often for whatever reason, including brother-sister, including -- Utah was not allowed to be a state...

    PEREZ: I am insulted by this brother-sister thing you keep bringing up.

    PRAGER: I don't know why you're insulted.

    PEREZ: Because you're talking about an incestuous relationship. You're talking about something radically different.

    PRAGER: So to you, that is ugly. To this reverend, your thing is ugly.
    ...
    PEREZ: Do you know what this is, Larry? This is -- and you're going to hate this one. It's an apartheid-like initiative, in the sense that's its objective is to separate gay and lesbian people from the rest of Americans, even if it's just a little bit, and that's my problem.
    ...
    PEREZ: Civil rights are not something that you hold up to public referendum and whatever the majority of the people want, otherwise you'd still have slavery in the South. You know, it's wrong.
    ...
    PEREZ: The discrimination that you're talking about is a very subtle kind of discrimination. It's not the kind of discrimination if somebody doesn't let you into the gas station to use the bathroom. It's the kind of discrimination that causes a little kid to hide the truth from his parents and from his family about who he is. The kind that when I was -- in 1976, when I was 13 years old, there was a cover of two men holding hands on "TIME" magazine. I knew that was wrong for me to read. I knew there was part of myself I was supposed to be ashamed of, and I took it and I curled it up, and I ran in the other room, and in secret in the garage, I read it, you know, and I brought it back and I snuck it back on the coffee table. That's what we're talking about.
    ...
    KING: Do you know, Charles, why you're gay?

    PEREZ: No. I don't really care. ...
    It's always been around. There were probably gay cavemen, you know, gay cowboys and Indians. It's not going to go anywhere. It's part of the human condition. It's part of the human condition that God created. ...

    KING: Do you think in your lifetime you'll see gay marriages?

    PEREZ: Yes, I do, because...

    KING: Sanctioned by the state?

    PEREZ: Yes, I do, because I think what happens here, and if you can look at the history of this country, the rights of people who struggle -- people who struggle to have the rights of gay -- Italian- Americans, Irish-Americans, definitely African-Americans, you know, have always been held back by people that try to stop progress. You know what, but rights and freedom are inevitable, and they come. They will come in this case.”

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0003/09/lkl.00.html

    No one's perfect, but, right there...to millions of viewers...Charles was out and proud...and not taking any bullshit...for all of us.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Aug 4, 2009 7:10:11 PM


  22. Note to self: Live in closet, deny your are gay until you make it, avoid meaningful contact with gay organizations and do nothing to advance the cause for gay rights except a cameo on Larry King and all is forgiven.

    Good to know.

    but he's sooooo pretty.

    Posted by: Ray | Aug 4, 2009 7:40:19 PM


  23. @ Ray...a "cameo"????...you obviously have your own asshat agenda in smearing Perez.

    Maybe you're the ex who stole his e-mails and forwarded them to others.

    In any case, you're a tool and a coward hiding behind his keyboard...unless you'd like to share with us YOUR "cameo" appearance on King or anywhere else.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Aug 4, 2009 7:43:21 PM


  24. I live in Miami and never knew he was gay.The reason I do not watch their news is Laury Jennings.She is so robot-like is annoying.It reminds me of the japanese robot the robot company had as a receptionist.Her face is so surgery-made is ridiculous and she shows no expression when giving the news.BOOORING.

    Posted by: Oscar in Miami Beach | Aug 4, 2009 9:39:33 PM


  25. Michael I realize you are a nutjob so I am hesitant to respond but...

    I'm not smearing Perez, I was merely pointing out that given how long he's been visible on tv (from Real World onward) and that many people knew him and knew that he intentionally denied being gay for quite some time. You whip out some Larry King clip as if to imply he's been doing this all along when we all know he was very late to the big gay party.

    If he's a friend of yours then fine, but try to be objective, mkay?

    Posted by: Ray | Aug 4, 2009 11:20:11 PM


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