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Gay Miami Newsman Fired After Filing Complaint

8/7/2009 1:44 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Gay Miami Newsman Fired After Filing ComplaintAn openly gay Miami news anchor has officially been fired from his job, just one week after the guy filed a sexual discrimination complaint against his bosses -- and the anchor claims the timing is no coincidence.

The man in the center of the controversy is Charles Perez -- who you may remember from "Inside Edition" or his nationally syndicated talk show, "The Charles Perez Show."

The drama all began in June, when Perez was "demoted" from the local ABC nightly evening newscast to the weekend edition -- and Perez claims it was because the station felt he was "becoming too gay" for the public to handle.

Perez decided to file a complaint with the Miami-Dade County Equal Opportunity Board, in which he details a performance review, where one of his bosses warned him that he smiled on air too much and that he and his female co-anchor were "like girlfriends while on the set."

Perez believes he was fired in retaliation for filing the complaint with the EOB. The station claims Perez's recent "actions" left them "no real choice" but to fire him, according to The Miami Herald.

Here's the catch -- the boss who demoted him is himself gay and issued a statement saying, "As a gay man myself, I can safely say the station does not discriminate against gay people." The station also denies the allegation.

But Perez isn't buying it, and tells TMZ he plans on filing a "7 or 8 figure lawsuit" against both the station and it's parent company, the Washington Post.

But there's more -- Perez believes this whole thing started because of a very private email that was hacked out of his computer by an ex-boyfriend and sent to his colleagues at his news station back in March.

Perez claims the email was a private exchange with his therapist, in which "sexual identity" was discussed. Perez claims when his co-workers read the email, they wrongly believed that he wanted to become a woman -- and that's when people at the station began treating him differently.
116 COMMENTS

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Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
76.

Whatajoke    

.......I'd do him..........

1841 days ago
77.

yer mom's soo effin hot!!    

i wanna see photos that prove that he really is gay. otherwise, it's all hear say.

1841 days ago
78.

NICO    

This story is relevant to TMZ? How?? Why??

1841 days ago
79.

rockinrobin    

Charles was the best news anchor. I have always watched channel 10 news because they always have the best anchors and after Dwight Lauderdale left, Charles was a fantastic replacement. I didn't know, nor would I have cared, that he is gay. He was just great at his job. I will change my news channels now.

1841 days ago
80.

Carol    

As a former anchorwoman with unfortunate experience suing my television station for discrimination, I can attest that discrimination can, and does, happen with alarming frequency when the anchor no longer conforms to the industry's ideal. That's why tv news men and women are virtual copies of each other at any station across the country. Mr. Perez indeed has a case. While federal law may not protect against discrimination based on orientation, state law -- and sometimes even local law -- may prohibit it. Thus, Mr. Perez's filing with Miami-Dade.

1841 days ago
81.

California Cowboy    

Hey SHUT UP ALREADY***** Being an angry straight most likely Republican white male, Yeah I bet you would like to go back 200 years when slavery was legal right? ignorant white trash..I bet you are one of the proud americans that drives a beat up old trashey truck with the confederate flag on it!!! Idiots like you scare me. One last thing, Glad Obama is in office hope he takes away your guns and appoints more minorities into the Supreme Court so that one day All Americans will TRUELY have EQUAL RIGHTS!!! GAY RIGHTS NOW!

1841 days ago
82.

Rosi Guastella    

This is so ridiculous! An amazing human being who is constantly helping causes and, in my opinion, one of the best anchormen in the field here in South Florida, got fired because the station believed he was "too gay". What a croc!

1841 days ago
83.

Bryan    

Oh god, sue them and get millions dude! They said you smile too much? When did it become so bad to smile on TV? What in the hell?

1840 days ago
84.

Bryan    

He has a case. Black people used to not be able to sit in the front of buses but that changed now didn't it? We also used to not share drinking fountains, class rooms and we used to enslave them. All of that changed too. It's 2009 hunny, time for this crap to stop. Gays aren't going to just leave, they've been here forever!

1840 days ago
85.

Harumpher72    

Google the phrase Crab Basket Syndrome. This is clearly an example of that. Bigots who also happen to be straight can now just sit back and watch gay people police themselves. Gay guys can often be homophobic ... particularly against other gay guys who they view as more toward the effiminate end of the spectrum. Crab Basket Syndrome.

1840 days ago
86.

Alan C    

Unfortunately, you have to have TWO computers 1. At your office where you only conduct your professional life and a 2. Computer at your home where you conduct your personal life from. What part of that have these people forgotten. While I do not agree with the handling of this situation, common sense needs to prevail and while it is absurd how the GM is treating this, Mr Perez should have taken the necessary precautions to prevent this from happening at all. And the sad reality is that now he really won't have a career since he is suing his former employer. I dare-say not television station would ever consider hiring such a high risk employee . . regardless of sexual identity. And Norman? Really? Okay, if you say so.

1840 days ago
87.

itsme    

Hate to tell you this #3, but it depends on the state and it's definition of the EEOC. some states recognize sexual orientation as part of the Equal Opportunity to work. Unless you are positive that Florida is one that DOESN'T recognize Sexual Orientation, then I would probably keep my mouth shut in that regards.

1838 days ago
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