Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo, 'Piolin Por La Manana' Host, Fired By Univision After Being Accused Of Sexual Harassment By Employee Alberto 'Beto' Cortez
Eddie ‘Piolín’ Sotelo’s popular radio talk show "Piolín por la Manana" was abruptly canceled and taken off the air after Sotelo was accused of sexual harassment by employee Alberto ‘Beto’ Cortez.
For ten years, Sotelo, a Mexican immigrant who became a spokesperson for immigrants in the US, worked with Univision Radio, eventually becoming one of the most successful Spanish-language radio hosts. "Piolin por la Manana" was yanked from the airwaves the week of July 22 without explanation. A few days later, Univision and Sotelo released a statement addressing the sudden departure.
“After a 10-year run, Sotelo and Univision have agreed to part company,” said Univision via the statement.
Still, no reason was given – and Sotelo remained equally secretive about his firing, despite having recently been elected to the National Radio Hall of Fame. On July 29, the truth came out: Cortez, a writer/producer and occasional performer on "Piolin por la Manana," has accused Sotelo of sexual harassment.
In a letter to Univision dated April 16, Cortez reportedly claims that Sotelo was “physically, sexually, and emotionally harassing” him while Cortez worked for the radio host. Cortez’ attorney, Robert R. Clayton, who wrote the letter to Univision, elaborated on the abuse, suggesting it was a common occurrence among those who worked for Sotelo.
“I have also spoken to former employees of the show who witnessed much of the harassment described herin… They too have either been subjected to or heard of Sotelo’s misconduct, threats, and the retaliation he has taken against employees who have spoken out against him,” reads the letter, according to the LA Times.
Cortez also accuses Sotelo of falsifying letters and public support for his highly successful campaign for immigration reform.
Clayton alleges that Cortez was told to “clandestinely photocopy letters so that it would appear as if he [Sotelo] had gathered 1 million signatures.”
Sotelo responded to the allegations of abuse through his attorney Jeffrey Spitz. “A disgruntled, troubled employee has made malicious and false claims about Eddie Sotelo… This was done as part of a demand for money… The employee’s allegations of harassment and falsification of immigration letters are pure fiction inteded to gain financial settlement,” Spitz expressed in the statement.
Cortez has not yet filed an official complaint or lawsuit against his former boss, and the letter reportedly urges Univision to settle with Cortez before the plaintiff decides to move the issue to court.
Univision has not announced a replacement program to fill Sotelo’s morning show, and radio stations that carried the show across the nation have been playing music and commercials instead.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong