He's here, he's queer, but former weeknight anchor Charles Perez says WPLG doesn't want to get used to it. According to Herald columnist Steve Rothaus, the anchor has filed a complaint with Miami-Dade's Equality Opportunity Board. In the complaint, he says news director Bill Pohovey told him WPLG would switch to a one-anchor broadcast on weeknights in order to save money, and he'd return to manning the desk on the weekends.
However, Perez says the station is required to pay him at his current level through June 2010. So money isn't the issue. Perez offers a number of cases where his gender identity was questioned and claims his relationship with co-anchor Laurie Jennings was referred to "as girlfriends" while on set by Pohovey, who also happens to be gay. He started to be phased out a while ago, when promos began airing featuring only Jennings.
WPLG released a statement in which it "emphatically denied" Perez's claims. Pohovey himself says, "This is an outrageous accusation. As a gay man myself, I can safely say the station does not discriminate against gay people. Charles's claim that the station discriminates against gay people is untrue and offensive." The station says Perez is being removed from his weeknight anchor duties as a result of the economy, but says nothing about financial savings.
Riptide definitely thinks there is more to this story. Maybe WPLG needs to be reminded that Perez, at one point, had it "going on." (Priceless.)
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