Industry veteran Charles Perez was recently fired from his anchor position with Miami’s major television news program. He’s suing the TV station, claiming they fired him because he is gay, and saying the station pressured him not to get married or have children with his partner.
“One of my colleagues, a higher-up at the station, told me: ‘The weekends will be better for you, anyway, Charles. You and Keith [my partner] want to have kids. It’s a lot less high-profile there.’
“It was a suggestion that never would have been made to one of my straight colleagues, male or female. The only thing I could take from it was that my profile as a gay man, especially if I were to have kids and, God forbid, get married, would render me less promotable and less advertiser-friendly.
“In fact, over the previous five months, I’d been told, ‘Don’t get married, Charles. We don’t need that.’ I’d also been told not to have children. In essence: ‘You’re the main anchor and you’re gay, but let’s not push it.'”
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. In my view, Mr. Perez continued to make false and outrageous accusations in an effort to force the station to give him back his former work schedule. Like all businesses, we do not respond to intimidation and threats from employees. His false claims should offend all people– including those of us in the gay community. It appears he is bent on waging a public relations campaign to destroy the hard earned and long standing reputation of the station as a community leader and an employer of a diverse and inclusive workforce. “