Fired WPLG Anchor Explains "Career Suicide" in The Daily Beast
Charles Perez, the WPLG anchor who has filed a discrimination suit against the South Florida ABC affiliate, wrote in a Sunday column in The Daily Beast that the station believed "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."
On August 6, Perez was fired. Station management says it was reacting to false allegations being made against it by Perez in a discrimination suit. In defending itself, WPLG has relied upon another gay staff member, its vice president and news director, Bill Pohovey, who recently released a statement you can read in full here at Random Pixels.
Perez's Daily Beast column is, at points, shrill and self-serving. He quotes a pep talk he got from his dentist, then grabs quotes from Barack Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King. He even reaches back to his time at another station during the search for WMDs to make a comment about what's wrong with the modern media.
But in the same column, Perez concedes that the forces of discrimination he felt at the station were very subtle, which means that in court, his case will have to be very subtle. That will put it at odds with the extremely unsubtle grandstanding he's doing right now, which makes it hard to believe that Perez truly believes in the bigger cause (whether that's a better media or a less prejudiced workplace) so much as for being perceived as a hero turned martyr.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.