The View is set to welcome back Rosie Perez on February 3. The announcement comes after several days of rumors that Perez, who has taken a hiatus to rehearse a play, has been fired from the daytime program. In its confirmation that Perez will be re-joining the “Hot Topics” table, ABC praised Perez and noted the unique perspective she brings to the daily chat fest.
“We look forward to welcoming the multi-talented Rosie Perez back to her seat as co-host on the panel on Feb. 3 after completing rehearsals for her upcoming Broadway play. She brings her rich life experience and passion to the table—something we’ve sorely missed while she’s away.”
The endorsement is a far cry from the initial denial from The View to reports of Perez’s firing. That denial said simply that Perez’s “status with the show has not changed,” and fell short of contradicting the disparaging remarks made about Perez by inside View sources. Those sources made claims to Variety that Perez was fired because she had trouble reading a TelePrompTer and never “got a hang of the show’s mixture of hard and soft news.”
A source also told the New York Daily News that Perez is “not the sharpest tool in the shed.”
Those assessments, and ABC’s failure to stand up for Perez, upset a group of Hispanic women who sent a letter to ABC. The group, calling itself “#YoSoRosie,” said the incident is detrimental not only to Perez but all women like her.
“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… The fact that the leaks come from one of your staffers is deeply offensive… Those close to [Perez] know her as a compassionate and generous woman — yet this cowardly insider has maliciously smeared her anonymously.”
“In naming Ms. Perez as co-host, ABC chose an intelligent, committed, and esteemed Latina role model…. 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.”
When View co-host Rosie O’Donnell confirmed the date of Perez’s return, she had a message for everyone watching.
“Don’t always believe what you read in the press, folks.”
The Rosie Perez controversy comes only a couple of weeks after The View’s rival program, The Talk, edged it out in the ratings race for the first time. The View airs weekdays on ABC.