Fired: News Anchor Charles Perez Speaks
BY Neal Broverman
August 11 2009 12:00 AM ET
What do you think the chances are of winning your case?I wish it could happen tomorrow. I wish I could stand up and show the three-judge panel everything I have and lay it out. Even if I lost, I wouldn’t care as long as the truth came out. Certainly, I’d like to win, because I believe that I’m standing firm on solid ground, but I’m not here to win at the expense of the truth. I just want the truth. I want to know what really happened, and I want it to be exposed, because I don’t think this should happen anymore. I don’t like this idea that things are so politically correct that we have these euphemistic terms. Like, I’m "too soft" as opposed to saying, "he’s too gay."
The last meeting I had with them, before this e-mail became public, I was sort of too strong, too anchor-like. Sort of like Brian Williams, very kind of -- commanding. And my news director said, literally, "Charles, this is Miami, soften up, be less Brian Williams, be a little more relaxed." Cut to the thing comes out, I think two or three days later, I get called in and I was too soft, Laurie and I were too much like girlfriends, I needed to work on my masculinity. I almost fell out of my chair because it was so 180 degrees from what I was told just before that. And then it became a series of meetings and reviews that were all based on that and repetitions of that, and I’ve been called many things but I’d never been called "too soft" and "not masculine enough" and too much like we’re "acting like girlfriends" -- it was very weird. And what’s interesting is that I have all of the e-mails of me questioning him, like "How could you say this after you said that? I don’t understand, please clarify for me." And he never did. He never said, "Charles, here’s what I meant." I think because he was between a rock and a hard place.
And you're getting a lot of support.Amazing. I am… it humbles me, because when I was a kid, I watched Dave Kopay on Donohue, and there was a little part of me that -- I was 15 years old and I knew I was gay -- I thought, Wow, could I ever be that courageous one day? And I don’t think that any of us really are that courageous. What we are is we arrive where we are in a moment in time, and if we’re lucky enough, we get to stand on the shoulders of people like David Mixner and Ellen, you know?
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