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2014 CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute - Show

It has been an intense season for the veteran chat show The View.  Now they are under fire for their treatment of new table add Rosie Perez. According to Latino Rebels, 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 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 letter reads as 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 aTelePrompTer.”

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.

Sincerely,

#yosoyrosie

The signatures on the letter is a who’s who of media:

Dalia E. Almanza-Smith, Associate Publisher, LATINO Magazine

Carmen Alustiza-Mondesire, Artist

Marilyn Alverio, CEO, Latinas & Power Inc.

Clara Padilla Andrews, President, Padilla Media

Rosi Amador, Amador Bilingual

Marcela Bailey, Chief Digital Officer, Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Dolores Batista, Allstate Insurance Company, Agency Owner, Karma Group LLC

Juana Bordas, President, Mestiza Leadership International

Sarah R. Bisconte, Independent Publicist

Marisa Calderon, Chief of Staff/Deputy Executive Director, NAHREP – National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals

Elba Cabrera, Arts Activist

Dr. Zulmara Cline, CSU Administrator, CEO Roots and Wings, Founder of Latina Gratitude Month

Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez, Former Secretary of State, New York

Evelyn Collazo, Artist

Lisa Trevino Cummins, President, Urban Strategies

Ingrid Duran, Co-Founder & Principal, D&P Creative Strategies

Gina Linn Espinoza, Founder /CEO, UpLatino,Get Wise Latinas & Million Latina March

Dolores M. Fernandez, Professor, Hunter College, CUNY

Aurora Flores, CEO, Aurora Communications, Inc.

Honorable Lucy Flores, Senior Attorney, Maddox, Isaacson & Cisneros, LLP

Marisol Gómez-Mouakad, Producer, Director Hormiga Cinema, LLC

Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

Christine Gutierrez, Psychotherapist & Life Coach

Sandra Guzman, Author, Journalist, Former Editor, Latina, heart & soul magazines

Bel Hernandez, Executive Producer, CBS2 Hola, Publisher, Latinheat.com

Rev. Carmen Hernandez, Founder, The NYCLGBTQS Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

Amy Hinojosa, President and CEO, MANA, A National Latina Organization

Madeline LaSalle, LCSW, Founder & Executive Director, Latinas Leading Tomorrow

Dhalma Llanos Figueroa, Author

Tania M. Lambert, Writer Editor

Josefina López, Founding & Artistic Director, CASA 0101 Theater,

Playwright, Real Women Have Curves

Ashley Love, 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

Azucena Maldonado, Founder/CEO, LGA – Latina Golfers Association

Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Council Member, Speaker, New York City Council

Loyda Martinez, Community Activist, Northern New Mexico

Rosa M. Melendez, Former U.S. Marshal for the Western District of WA

Retired Region 10 Director, USDOJ-CRS

Elisha Miranda, Writer, Director, Professor, Chica Sol Films

Marisol Morales, Director of Civic and Community Engagement, University of La Verne

Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, President & Founder, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Center

Ivette Mayo, Founder & CEO, Yo Soy Expressions, LLC

Cecilia Mota, Founder, Coaching on the Go Network, Executive Director

Manny Mota International VH Theatrical Development Foundation

Nancy Santiago Negron, Esq., Opportunity Finance Network

Linda Nieves-Powell, Writer, Director

Maria F. Nieto, Writer, Producer

Catherine Pino, Co-Founder & Principal, D&P Creative Strategies

Kathy Quintana, Executive Vice President, HUB International Insurance Services Inc.

Sofia Quintero, Writer, Producer

Carmen Ramos-Watson, President/CEO, QMRI

Elianne Ramos, Principal, Speak Hispanic Communications, Founder, Border Kids Relief Project

Gladys Rivera, President, Puerto Rican Day Parade, Greater Hartford Region

Gina Rodriguez, Owner, Hecho con Cariño

Shirley Rodriguez, Founder & CEO, Create the Remarkable Inc.

Rosanna Rosado, Publisher Emeritus, El Diario La Prensa

Esmeralda Santiago, Author

Teresa Santiago, Chairperson, Comite Noviembre

Diana Shakti Contreras, Professor, CE Mesa College

Carmen Sierra, Director, Parent University

Dayanara Torres, Miss Universe 1993, Actor, Author

Jeannette Torres-Alvarez, Mental Health Counselor-Early Childhood Expert

Lydia Varela, Founder,LatinaXchange

Sandra Velasquez, Singer/Songwriter, Pistolera

Pretty strong words.  What do you think?

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