UPDATED: Charles Perez’s Claims Argued in “Kelly’s Court”

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UPDATED: Steve Rothaus of the Miami Herald is reporting that Perez has been fired from WPLG, just days after he filed a complaint with a Miami-Dade human rights commission. See updated post here.

“His employment has been terminated,” business attorney Melanie E. Damian told The Miami Herald Thursday afternoon. “We filed a charge of discrimination last week. We will now amend that to include his termination as part of his claims.”

Perez also confirmed that he is not longer employed by WPLG, but said he couldn’t discuss the case until after he speaks with his agent.

WPLG Vice President and General Manager Dave Boylan said he would soon provide a statement to The Herald.

The saga of openly gay anchor Charles Perez and Miami station WPLG made it to Kelly’s Court on Fox’s America’s Newsroom with anchor Megyn Kelly discussing the situation with Fox legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle and defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh.

As these things go, it was actually an interesting discussion. This isn’t Nina Totenberg or Ari Shapiro on NPR, so the level of legal discussion is pretty basic. Kelly kept referring to Perez’s “sexual preference” in discussing the claim, but she seemed to be sympathetic to the claims brought by Perez.  I’m not sure she understood the legal basis for the claims or the actual demands–or even how these claims work–but that’s more a problem with legal coverage that a problem with how LGBT issues are reported.

Guilfoyle was siding with Perez, although she claimed the station’s concern was that one day Perez was going to come into the office and be “Rosie Perez.”  It’s a great line–and does refer to concerns raised in the email released by Perez’s former partner–but I’m not really sure that’s what is going on here.  Both Guilfoyle and Kelly say that publicity around Perez’s ugly breakup caused the problems with the station.

Eiglarsh–a criminal defense lawyer–argued the position of the station.  I think he overstates the significance of Perez’s boss being openly gay, but it was a pretty standard argument on behalf of the employer.

This story is going to get a lot of play and it will be interesting to see how the rather sensationalistic elements get covered in future stories.

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