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WPLG fires anchor Charles Perez

  • Click here to read Charles Perez’s complaint
  • Click here to read WPLG-ABC 10’s rebuttal
  • Click here to read WPLG-ABC 10’s statement upon firing Perez 

    BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

    perez photoWPLG-ABC 10 has fired anchor Charles Perez, days after he filed a discrimination complaint against the Post-Newsweek station.

    “His employment has been terminated,” Perez’s business attorney Melanie E. Damian told The Miami Herald Thursday afternoon. “We filed a charge of discrimination last week. We will now amend that to include his termination as part of his claims.”

    Perez also confirmed that he is no longer employed by WPLG, but said he couldn’t discuss the case until after he speaks with his agent.

    "WPLG is disappointed that the actions of Charles Perez left us no real choice other than to terminate his employment contract," WPLG Vice President and General Manager Dave Boylan said in a statement to The Herald. "WPLG emphatically denies Perez's claim of discrimination. The document he is circulating is filled with misstatements and untruths."

    Late last week, Perez filed a discrimination complaint with Miami-Dade's Equal Opportunity Board.

    Perez, 46, says in the complaint that station bosses demoted him to weekend anchor/reporter "because of their discomfort over the increasingly high profile of my sexual orientation."

    On April 3, Perez went to court seeking a restraining order against his former partner, Dennis Ricardo Peña, whom he accused of leaking a private e-mail concerning Perez’s ‘’gender identity issues.’’

    Later that month, Perez claims he "began to disappear'' from station promotional spots. He lost the weeknight anchor seat July 22.

    Station executives recently told Miami Herald columnist Joan Fleischman their decision was driven by economics.

    WPLG Vice President and News Director Bill Pohovey denied Perez's claims: ``This is an outrageous accusation," Pohovey said Monday in a statement to The Herald. ``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."

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    Once again the Herald's editing is sloppy. This article quotes Pohovey but fails to state what his job is at WPLG.
    Duh!

    you could not ask for a hotter potato than is contained in this minor(sic) skirmish; one would gather that in the event Channel 10 higher ups really said what he says they said, an investigative agency or judicial reviewer should not need a whole heck of alot of time to make a decision whether this fine gent has been treated fairly and gently and w/in the letter of the laws that are pertinent to his stated grievance.

    OMG!!!!

    you go charles i support u totally and you have rights and you are totally supported.

    Please bring back Dwight. I stop watching since he left.

    about time they fire him!! He was causing a great deal of trouble. besides he was terrible on air....
    WE WANT DWIGHT BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

    Amazing the notion that, just because there's an openly gay news director, the station couldn't possibly discriminate against a gay person.

    Just ask all the gay agents and producers in Hollywood who discourage actors from coming out and then don't hire them when they do. It is hardly unheard of for gays, especially closeted ones but also even open ones, to discriminate against other gays, including if they are perceived as being more "out" in some way, or more "flamboyant," or some other characteristic that they gay discriminator or his bosses are uncomfortable with. Have they really never heard of internalized homophobia?

    Bill Povohey *really* needs a better talking point. That one's gonna go down in flames in both court and public perception.

    we want dwight!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    bring back dwight!!!
    bring back dwight!!!
    bring back dwight!!!

    wow, I didn't even know Charles was gay. He is an outstanding reporter, and quite handsome! This is a sad situation, I truly hope that he finds justice in court and can continue his career as an anchor with another station.

    Pathetic that one gay employee had to tell another gay employee to basically "butch up", assuming there is any truth to the manager's excuse. The saddest thing is that Perez's scumbag ex succeeded in damaging his career. Anyway, you go, Charlie, Ann Bishop would never have put up with this crap.

    i want dwight back 2

    I didn't know Perez was gay and frankly I could give a hoot that he is. What I do know is that I don't like his 7-News style. Dwight Lauderdale stood head and shoulders above this guy, and then some.

    I'm for it, bring Dwight back!

    Not a good week for openly gay dudes. Then again, their behavior is anti-social. Let's check back on the BSO deputy and see what is up with him spending time in the SLAMMER!!!

    Not a good week for gays in South Florida; first, BSO deputy lolly pops on illegal immigrants and now TV anchor gone wild in the news room.

    Dwight Lauderdale always looked gay to me and never mind Anne Bishop. As for Lauderdale being better than Charles Perez, well I do not agree, they each had their own style.

    Lauderdale had an attitude, if you know what I mean.....He thought he was "Blanco".

    Well, well don't u all get upset about this now.
    It is true.

    I ain't watching Chanel 10 News and am encouraging my friends not to advertise with this station until they make a good faith effort to apologize Anita Bryant Mentality that died in the 70s. Wake up WPLG, This is the 21st Century. If only Anne Bishop were alive. God loves all its creatures; why can't we?

    read much Lactose bigot?

    "WPLG Vice President and News Director Bill Pohovey denied Perez's claims: ``This is an outrageous accusation," Pohovey said Monday in a statement to The Herald."

    Is Sally Fitz available?

    Perez says he was demoted "because of their discomfort over the increasingly high profile of my sexual orientation". Plus, you were getting a restraining order against your former lover. Sounds like your b/f was causing drama at work! in almost any workplace, that is not gonna fly - whether gay or straight! I wish you all the best. If I'm wrong & you've really got a case, go for it.

    OMG how i miss Ann Bishop and Dwight
    i truly beleive in Charles , WPLG used to be the leader in local news now they have gone the way of channel 7 back in the Rick Sanchez days shame on you for hating , shame on you for discriminating against a gay person,
    the truth will come out
    especially since you are now promoting a straight father as a news anchor, it is very UnAmerican to be a hater, am done with channel 10

    After reading Mr. Perez's complaint, I think he is going to win his lawsuit. The station's argument that they were only trying to save money doesn't hold water. Mr. Perez has a long-term contract, so money isn't an issue. Also, the idea that a gay man would never discriminate against another gay man is laughable. If I were the station, I would get my checkbook ready. Because they are going to be writing a very large check in the near future.

    What needs to happen --- ALL gay reporters and newscasters resign, even the women.

    Then there will be no one left to tell the news. So many gays in the weather and in reporting --you have no idea.

    Does this mean Laurie Bobble-Head is going to go it alone?

    I love charles perez, I would watch him every evening when he anchored the news. I will not watch channel 10 until they bring him back. I don't care what his sexual orientation is, I just like hearing the news from him. Bring him back!

    Ridiculous.

    When is this stupid homophobia going to end?

    I had no idea Dwight Lauderdale was gay.

    Forget his sexuality for a minute, the guy was "too anchor-like"?. Whatever happened to the unbiased news anchors in this country whom would report the news straight up? People watch the news, for the most part, to be updated on issues pertaining to their communities and the country-not for entertainment reasons. Henceforth, I'm perfectly alright with a straight-forward newscast. Good night and good luck.

    ZZZzzzzzz........More S. Florida drama....ZZZzzzzz

    charles go join bill kamal... cry me a river

    I am sorry for his plight. I sure hope he finds the rainbow he's looking for. If he were to go straight, then he would not have to worry about another jealous (same sex) lover betraying him.

    WPLG has effectively warned any of it's employees that if they seek to enforce their rights and seek the help of the law they will LOSE THEIR JOBS.

    Are we, as a community, going to keep supporting this station? We are all employees and would never appreciate our rights being trampled upon like WPLG and it's white pointy hair wearing management have done.

    I am personally going to bring this up with ABC and their parent company's Board of Directors.

    WPLG is so trashy and disrespectful towards labor that they do not deserve to be affiliated with ABC or Disney.

    I might as well even ask the FCC to suspend their broadcasting license. That license is hanging by a very thin string baby!

    His sexual preference is his choice but what I don't understand is why is he making such a big deal being on the road and he was still getting his anchor pay and at the same time two other employees had to be laid off.Now you are out of a job Kudos to you Mr Perez.

    we want dwight

    It is good to see that WPLG is cleaning up its act and firing these people of low moral character. It sets a bad example to have someone that admittedly participates in "homosexual" activities reading the news to our families and children.

    I can't believe that in the 21st century, not to mention in MIAMI, one of the biggest gay mecas, that we still have such discrimination against gays. I was a huge WPLG watcher, but being a gay man myself, I will no longer watch the news on channel 10. Once Charles wins his case, and I know he will, the management at WPLG should be forced, on live TV, to appologize to Charles for what they've done to him. He was an excellent anchorman, no matter if he's gay, straight, BI, or WHATEVER!! And, to the person who wrote, "It's good to see that WPLG is cleaning up it's act & firing these people of low moral character, etc.", you're as closed minded as the idiots running WPLG. It's people like you that bring up kids to be just as homophobic as you are. Not to mention, that because of comments such as yours, kids today are being brought up just as closed minded and think of only one thing, "how can I ruin a gay persons life today"! It's a sad day in South Florida & throughout the U.S., when a gay person is fired for doing a great job!!!

    Charles, if you are interested in exploring the probabilities of overcoming your gender identity situation you can go to http://narth.com/?clientid=646 and read what is offered to you. I think you are a fine man, and very professional at what you do. I hope you find a good job reporting in another station. You are good man.

    He should go to San Francisco. I'm sure he will have no trouble finding work there.

    This action taken by Channel 10 is a slap in the face to anyone who believes in the rule of law. How can they fire Charles Perez after he filed a complaint with the EEOC. I wonder if they seeked legal advice, and if so, boy did they get bad advice. Channel 10 will pay dearly in both monetary losses and viewers.

    Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolli lollipop..

    Okay folks, from now on I am watching the news on NBC 6. Channel 10 management, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Ann Bishop is, I'm sure, rolling over in her grave. Since when is sexual orientation grounds for demotion and firing under the law? And don't give us that b.s. about
    needing to save money...you have been the top news outlet in the market and maintaining a top notch newscast is more important than whether you are paying one or two anchors. I will be you are already planning for Calvin Hughes' ascension as soon as you can find someone of equal stature for the morning slot. I'm sure even Calvin would not want to get ahead on the heels of this heinous and discriminatory personnel matter!

    WE LOVE YOU CHARLES and we support you all the way!! The facts obviously point to a news station that has serious problems with sexual orientation and want to keep everything swept under the rug. They continue to promote their heterosexual couples and show pictures of their main anchors "perfect" families. Well this is 2009 and they need to get real! This is South Florida, not South Dakota - people have a right to be themselves no matter what position they hold. The fact that the gay news director (who is behind the scenes) can comment on this is hypocritical and he is a coward. He doesn't have to show his face in public and can hide behind his corporate paycheck and do as he's told and not be reprimanded for having a gay lifestyle since he sits behind a desk and isn't seen. Charles will rise about this and become more popular and more loved than ever before! We love you Charles and stay strong!!!!!! You will prevail!!!!

    GO CHARLES!!!! Stand up and fight!!! WPLG should be ashamed of themselves. They are cowards!!!!!!!!

    Perez has always been a whiner.

    Wow, wow, wow... I just can't believe some of the hateful, homophobic comments I am reading here. I used to be proud to be born here in america. Now I am embarrassed to even admit that I am american and I can't wait to leave this country and you bunch of judgemental, homophobic, backwards, bible thumping morons behind. Charles Perez was the best thing that ever happened to the tired Local 10 news and there will be a backlash that they will not have bargained for when this really hits the fan and I plan to do my best to make that happen.

    MY WIFE, FAMILY, FRIENDS AND I HAVE BEEN VERY DISSAPOINTED ABOUT 10 CHANNEL POOR ATTITUDE TOWARDS MINORITIES FOR A LONG TIME. THIS CASE IS ONE MORE TO THEIR RECORD. LUCKYLY WE HAVE BETTER CHOICES. THE STATION, WPLG-ABC 10, NEEDS TO REFLECT ON THIS SITUASION BEFORE VIEWERS STAR BOYCOTING.

    A. ERAZZ

    I live in Chicago and have been following this story for the past several weeks. To me the station is screwed because they broke the law in firing Mr. Perez AFTER he filed a formal complaint with the E.E.O.C. which he can/will definitely "win," if there can be any "winners" by the definition of the meaning....

    Although this wreaks of high drama, is there proof that any part of his personal life was interfering with his work performance? Also, if he was working on a contractual basis, then how could the station be "saving money" by demoting him even though he is still paid the same?

    Yes, gay men discriminate against each other all of the time, so it is ignorant to think that just because the News Director is "openly gay" that he did not have personal issues against the hunk that is Charles Perez, drama or not.

    Good luck. If I were living in the viewing area, I would not be watching that station.

    This is stupid, Ann Bishop was terrific and anchored channel 10 news for many years and her sexuality was never an issue, stations have to make decisions based upon ratings and every gay person who doesn't get promoted or gets a demotion takes it personally and uses this issue to shake the money tree, thats why no one wants to hire gays, this does more harm to gay people than good and sends the message don't hire gays or you'll get a lawsuit the first time you make a business decision. I don't see being gay as the issue but you have to be able to run a station without being afraid every time you have to deal with gay employee's or have bad news you'll get sued.

    Grow up Charles, if your so good then you should have gone to the weekends and proved it with good work not by being a baby. Half of Miami is unemployed, were they all fired for being gay? They'd love to have the weekend job or any job, hard to feel sorry for you buddy.

    All the people that say, "bring Dwight back" are more retarded than the special olympics.
    Dwight retired!
    Why would he come back?
    This is discrimination in the 21st century.
    How about if they told Dwight, "Hey buddy go get white skin."
    You don't tell someone to "butch up."

    Charles already proved himself, as evidenced by the many, many loyal fans that are supporting him and will no longer be watching homophobic Local 10. Whether it will be with the lawsuit or the loss of viewers WPLG, Local 10 will be the losers.

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