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Rosie Perez Is Leaving 'The View'

Photograph by Getty Images

I'm just going to say it: I am a die-hard Rosie Perez fan. Maybe it's because she's a New York Puerto Rican like me, or maybe it's because she's an activist who speaks her mind about social injustice. Either way, I believe Rosie Perez is a powerful Latina force to be reckoned with.

I know what some of you are thinking. Rosie Perez? Really? She's probably one of the most underrated Latinas in Hollywood. People hear her accent and they cringe, judge and dismiss her. I know because I once felt the same way.

I enjoyed her performances in "Do The Right Thing" and "It Could Happen to You." I admired her choreography on "In Living Color."

Then I read her candid memoir, "Handbook for an Unpredictable Life" and I gained a whole new respect for her.

In spite of her troubled upbringing, Rosie Perez refused to see herself as a victim of circumstance. Her memoir is a testament to her strength and determination. She is an Oscar-nominated actress, Emmy-nominated choreographer, dancer, director, activist and an iconic New Yorker. She is also the artistic chair of Urban Arts Partnership and sits on the Presidential Advisory Counsel on HIV/AIDS.

This week, Perez announced that she is leaving the show to pursue her acting. The announcement leaves me with mixed feelings. I want "The View" to have a strong Latina personality on the host panel, but I also want to see Rosie Perez's career continue to flourish.

When I heard Rosie Perez was going to the be the first Latina on "The View," I was excited. Not only was the announcement a really big deal and a long time coming, but Rosie Perez was the sabor "The View" needed. For years, Latinos clamored for their voice to be represented. However, not everyone in my Facebook feed shared my excitement. While many wanted a Latina voice on "The View," it wasn't Rosie's voice they necessarily wanted.

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As a Rosie fan, I watched the first few episodes. I enjoyed her presence and commentary. But as a working mom, it became hard for me to keep up. Even with DVR and free on-demand access, I can't keep up with a daily daytime talk show no matter how much of a Rosie Perez fan I am.

And real talk: because I know Rosie is no B.S., I didn't always like her on "The View." I felt she was trying too hard to be what the network wanted her to be. I could see her lips twitching. It was like I could see her thinking about what she was going to say before she said it. Like she was trying too hard to lessen her accent and enunciate her words. There were moments when her true personality shined through, but mostly she looked uncomfortable. And I felt like she was trying too hard to conform for daytime TV — like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

This week, Perez announced that she is leaving the show to pursue her acting. The announcement leaves me with mixed feelings. I want "The View" to have a strong Latina personality on the host panel, but I also want to see Rosie Perez's career continue to flourish.

Ultimately, the show may have lost Rosie, but it's no loss to true fans like me. She is exceptionally talented and multifaceted. She's an intelligent and articulate woman. And I am eager to see Rosie uncensored and in her natural state, being herself and doing what she loves to do.

So I'll wait, watch and support whatever she does next. Pa'lante Rosie!

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