Mario Lopez Walks Back ‘Ignorant and Insensitive’ Comments About Parents of Transgender Kids

“Access Hollywood” host faced criticism over saying it’s “dangerous” for parents to allow young children to choose their gender

Last Updated: July 31, 2019 @ 10:43 AM

“Access Hollywood” host Mario Lopez walked back comments he made regarding parents of transgender children, where he said it’s “dangerous as a parent” to allow young children to choose their own gender.

“The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” Lopez said in a statement. “I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself.  Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.”

On Wednesday, a month-old appearance Lopez made on Candace Owens’ PragerU show surfaced on the internet. During the 40-minute interview on “The Candace Owens Show” on June 23, which you can view above, the right-wing host brought up the “weird” Hollywood trend of stars like Charlize Theron saying their children are “picking their gender.”

Owens began the discussion be saying: “This is strange to me just because they say, ‘Oh, I looked at my child, my child was swimming in a bathtub and looked up and said, ‘Mommy, I’m a boy’ and that’s weird to me, because even though I’m not a parent, I nannied for five years of my life and the things that come out of children’s mouths, like, they are just — they say whatever in the moment, you don’t know what they’ve seen on TV, what got in their head,” she continued. “I’m trying to understand this new Hollywood mentality where they just think that their children now have the mental authority.”

“I’m trying to understand it myself,” Lopez responded. “I would say if you come from a place of love, you really can’t go wrong. But at the same time, my God, if you’re three years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination then, ‘OK, well then you’re going to be a boy or a girl,’ whatever the case may be.”

Shortly after Lopez’s comments circled around the internet, they received pushback on social media.

“The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were.  I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself.  Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.”

Some of the criticism called Lopez’s comments “cruel” and said he was uninformed on transgender issues. Others arguing that Lopez made a mistake for even going on Owens’ show in the first place.

“Of our 5 kids, 2 are queer. They both came out in their early teens but we knew who they were way, way before then,” said journalist Holly Figueroa O’Reilly on her Twitter account. “Parents can tell the different between a 3 year old who pretends to be another gender for fun and one who feels they are living in the wrong body. STFU Mario Lopez.”

“Mario Lopez’s suggestion that parents ought not accept their trans kids — kids who face staggering levels of suicide, bullying and other hurdles — is cruel,” added Alex Berg, who co-hosts BuzzFeed’s “AM2DM” morning show. “He conflated sexual orientation and gender identity, which is a pretty big tell that ya don’t know anything about this.”

Lopez had explained his reasoning while speaking with Owens by arguing that children “don’t know anything about sexuality yet” at such a young age. This comment received criticism due to the fact that Lopez appeared to be confusing sexual orientation and gender.

“It’s sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on,” he said. “I think parents need to allow their kids to be kids but at the same time, you gotta be the adults in the situation. Pause with that and — I think the formative years is when you start having those discussions and really start making these ‘declarations.’ And it’s way too young for some of these, I just personally think it’s way too young.”

A prominent LGBTQ group PFLAG National offered to educate Lopez. “It’s okay @MarioLopezExtra,” the group wrote on its Twitter page. “We’re here to help provide more education on what being #transgender means, the difference between #sexualorientation, #sex, and #gender… and a whole lot of other things.”

Lopez also touched on movements like #BelieveWomen, explaining why he believes it can be “a very dangerous hashtag.”

“I think that’s dangerous because people lie and sometimes those people are women,” he said. “And God forbid you have a son out there and a girl may have felt a certain way about a situation — dismissed, hurt, whatever — and is feeling vengeful and just decides to tell a certain story that’s not exactly true, come back and really hurt that individual. And if we’re just supposed to assume she’s telling the truth without any sort of proof, evidence — that’s incredibly dangerous. And the other way around, you can’t just #BelieveMen either.”