Openly gay Miami anchorman Charles
Perez's descent from anchorman to reporter was followed this week
with a pink slip, the Miami Herald reported.
“His employment has been terminated,”
Perez's business attorney Melanie E. Damian confirmed to the paper.
Perez accused Miami ABC affiliate WPLG
of discrimination in a complaint filed with Miami-Dade's Equal
Opportunity Board on July 31.
In his complaint, the
forty-six-year-old alleges station bosses demoted him “because of
their discomfort over the increasingly high profile of my sexual
The anchorman claims a former partner,
Dennis Ricardo Pena, forwarded an email to WPLG staff where Perez
confides in a Los Angeles therapist that he needs to work through his
“gender identity issues.” Three days later, bosses told him his
television persona was “too soft,” and he smiled too much –
“like girlfriends” – with co-anchor Laurie Jennings.
After notifying management, Perez moved
forward with a restraining order against his former partner, whom
Perez claimed was stalking him and threatening to destroy his career.
Pena responded with an 11-page motion filled with salacious stories
that quickly made headlines in Miami.
Perez was demoted to weekend
anchor/street reporter on July 22, and fired days after he filed his
“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. “WPLG emphatically denies
Perez's claim of discrimination. The document he is circulating is
filled with misstatements and untruths.”
Station executives have said Perez was
demoted as a cost-cutting effort, a claim Perez says is nonsense
because the station is contractually obligated to pay him a full
salary for the remainder of his contract.
News director Bill Pohovey called
Perez's claims “outrageous.”
“As a gay man myself, I can safely
say the station does not discriminate against gay people,” he said
in a statement.
Perez told gossip website TMZ.com that
he plans on filling a “7 or 8 figure lawsuit” against WPLG and
its parent company.