|Photo credit to: Joella Marano|
Press Release Received Via Email today:
New York, NY, January 20, 2015 – A group of high-powered Latinas from a wide range of professions – politicians, scholars, artists, business owners, activists, professors, authors – released an open letter to the producers of “The View” this morning demanding an apology to iconic actor Rosie Perez and all Latinas for derogatory comments made about Ms. Perez by one or more sources at the show. New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, former New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez, best-selling author Esmeralda Santiago, and award-winning playwright Josefina Lopez are among the signatories.
The group’s outrage stems from recent comments issued to the press saying that Ms. Perez “is not the sharpest tool in the box” and “can’t read a TelePrompTer.” “Questioning a woman’s intelligence is an old stereotype that is sexist and in this case, also racist,” the letter states. It goes on to say, “When you disparage the only Latina on “The View” you disparage all Latinas.”
The letter is signed #yosoyrosie, launching a viral campaign to collect comments from others on this “hot topic.”
A full copy of the letter with the full list of signatories follows.
January 20, 2015
Open letter to the Executive Producers of “The View”
We are outraged that in the past few weeks a source from “The View” has been dispensing derogatory information to the press about Rosie Perez, first telling a NY Daily News reporter that Ms. Perez “is not the sharpest tool in the box” and most recently, being quoted in the industry outlet, Variety, saying that Ms. Perez “can’t read a TelePrompTer.”
It doesn’t take a genius to read into the racist and sexist language hurled against Ms. Perez. Questioning a woman’s intelligence is an old stereotype that is sexist and in this case, also racist. The stereotype that Latinas are stupid is outrageous. There is no excuse for this behavior. Network officials should not tolerate this kind of racist conduct.
The fact that the leaks come from one of your staffers is deeply offensive. Implicit in the insider comments is that Ms. Perez is unintelligent and illiterate. Ms. Perez is a beloved community icon, an acclaimed author, director, a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV& AIDS, an Academy Award nominated actor, a Broadway stage actor, and a dedicated activist. Those close to her know her as a compassionate and generous woman—yet this cowardly insider has maliciously smeared her anonymously.
When ABC announced that it had named Ms. Perez to co-host “The View,” the Latino and Latina community was proud and enthusiastic with the choice. Though it took show executives eighteen years to cast permanent Latina representation on the show, as Latinos and Latinas, we were delighted that finally someone of such caliber was chosen. That the network named an award-winning entertainer with an impressive history of activism in education, the arts, and Latino causes, was even more impressive. In naming Ms. Perez as a co-host, ABC chose an intelligent, committed, and esteemed Latina role model. People magazine's critic Tom Gliatto acknowledged Ms. Perez as the “best thing about the new View” and a “keeper.” The fact that in less than four months someone from your staff and network is slandering her is not only outrageous but, unacceptable.
We are furthermore disappointed that industry leader, Variety, chose to go with a story quoting an anonymous insider and failed to give Ms. Perez and her management an opportunity to respond. This is shoddy journalism at its best. Your bland statement in response to Variety’s article that Rosie Perez’ “status with the show has not changed,” added insult to injury.
Ms. Perez, Latinas and the entire Latino community merits respect, not insults. We expect more from the staff of “The View” and ABC network.
When you disparage the only Latina on “The View” you disparage all Latinas. Rosie Perez and by extension, all Latinas, deserve an immediate apology.
Dalia E. Almanza-Smith
Latinas & Power Inc.
Clara Padilla Andrews
President, Padilla Media
Chief Digital Officer
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Allstate Insurance Company
Agency Owner, Karma Group LLC
Mestiza Leadership International
Sarah R. Bisconte
Chief of Staff/Deputy Executive Director
NAHREP – National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals
Dr. Zulmara Cline
CEO Roots and Wings
Founder of Latina Gratitude Month
Former Secretary of State, New York
Lisa Trevino Cummins
Co-Founder & Principal
D&P Creative Strategies
Gina Linn Espinoza
Founder /CEO, UpLatino,
Get Wise Latinas & Million Latina March
Dolores M. Fernandez
Hunter College, CUNY
Aurora Communications, Inc.
Honorable Lucy Flores
Maddox, Isaacson & Cisneros, LLP
Hormiga Cinema, LLC
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Former Editor, Latina, heart & soul magazines
Executive Producer, CBS2 Hola
Rev. Carmen Hernandez
The NYCLGBTQS Chamber of
President and CEO
MANA, A National Latina Organization
Madeline LaSalle, LCSW
Founder & Executive Director
Latinas Leading Tomorrow
Dhalma Llanos Figueroa
Tania M. Lambert
Founding & Artistic Director
CASA 0101 Theater
Playwright, Real Women Have Curves
Social Justice Activist, Journalist
Sandra E. Madrid, PhD
University of Washington Administrator
Past Chair National Hispania Leadership Institute
Founding Member, Latina/o Bar Association of Washington
LGA - Latina Golfers Association
City Council Member
Speaker, New York City Council
Northern New Mexico
Rosa M. Melendez
Former U.S. Marshal for the Western District of WA
Retired Region 10 Director, USDOJ-CRS
Writer, Director, Professor
Chica Sol Films
Director of Civic and Community Engagement
University of La Verne
Dr. Marta Moreno Vega
President & Founder
Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Center
Founder & CEO
Yo Soy Expressions, LLC
Coaching on the Go Network
Manny Mota International Foundation
Nancy Santiago Negron, Esq.
Opportunity Finance Network
Maria F. Nieto
Co-Founder & Principal
D&P Creative Strategies
Executive Vice President
HUB International Insurance Services Inc.
Principal, Speak Hispanic Communications
Founder, Border Kids Relief Project
President, Puerto Rican Day Parade
Greater Hartford Region
Hecho con Cariño
Founder & CEO
Create the Remarkable Inc.
El Diario La Prensa
Teresa Santiago, Chairperson
Diana Shakti Contreras
CE Mesa College
Director, Parent University
Miss Universe 1993
Mental Health Counselor-Early Childhood Expert
Ben Sherwood, President, Disney
Sr. Vice President ABC News Division
Executive producer, ABC's "The View"
Randy Barone, ABC’s The View
Senior Executive Producer, ABC’s The View