Openly Gay News Anchor Charles Perez Fired.

Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | Posted by Chico Brisbane | Labels: , , ,

A Florida TV station has fired openly gay anchor Charles Perez, just days after he had filed a discrimination case against the company, in which Perez said he was demoted for reasons tied to his sexual orientation.Perez, former host of the nationally syndicated Charles Perez Show, had been embroiled in a high-profile legal dispute with his ex-partner over allegations of domestic abuse when he was demoted July 22, according to The Miami Herald. Perez, 46, filed a complaint against WPLG-ABC with the Miami-Dade County Equal Opportunity Board, in which he said that his supervisor criticized him for smiling too much on the air, and that he and co-anchor behaved "like girlfriends," TMZ reports.

In the complaint, Perez said it appeared the station demoted him due to its "discomfort over the increasingly high profile of my sexual orientation."The red flag in this story is the appearance of station's discomfort with Perez's increasingly messy private life. The MIami-Dade anchor's name has been in the local news because of abuse charges against his former partner Dennis Ricardo Peña, whom Perez filed a injunction against for protection against domestic violence for being ''stalked, harassed and threatened'' by Peña. There are also charges and counter charges about whether Perez's email was hacked and confidential information disclosed that the anchor felt could damage his professional rep.

WPLG officials say Perez's claims are baseless. "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 Miami Herald. "WPLG emphatically denies Perez's claim of discrimination.

The document he is circulating is filled with misstatements and untruths."Perez has worked as a producer of the Ricki Lake Show and the Montel Williams Show, and appeared as an openly gay man on the first season of MTV's "The Real World."

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."

Perez issued this statement: "Integrity, professionalism, and privacy are three principles that I have lived by. This is a situation that is overblown, misunderstood, taken out of context, and misused. The real issue surrounds the interpretation of language in an e-mail. I have never questioned my identity as a male. There is nothing else to say about the attempt by a former partner to malign me and my reputation by spewing out baseless statements and allegations.''

Peña says in his domestic violence petition that Perez would ``throw household items, punch[ed] walls and use demeaning and vulgar language.''

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