#YoSoyRosie: Latina Leaders Demand ABC Apologize for ‘Derogatory Remarks’ About Rosie Perez

Jan 20, 2015
9:03 PM

UPDATE, January 22, 2015: New reports are saying Perez is staying on the show, although ABC or “The View” have yet to comment about the open letter.

In response to a Variety report that actor Rosie Perez will be exiting ABC’s “The View” after just four months on the show, an open letter co-signed by influential Latina leaders is demanding the network and “The View” apologize “for derogatory comments made about Ms. Perez.”

This was the release shared 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 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.


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
Ben Sherwood, President, Disney
David Sloan
Tom Cibrowski
Sr. Vice President ABC News Division
Bill Wolff
Executive producer, ABC’s “The View”
Randy Barone, ABC’s The View
Executive Producer
Barbara Fedida
Executive Producer
Brian Balthazar
Senior Executive Producer, ABC’s The View