Mario Lopez apologises for his "ignorant" comments about transgender children
2 August 2019, 12:10 | Updated: 2 August 2019, 12:20
The actor questioned parents who support their transgender children.
Mario Lopez has apologised after receiving backlash for his comments on transgender children. The Extra presenter claimed it was "dangerous" for parents to support children who identify as transgender.
READ MORE: Model Carissa Pinkston is being called out for pretending to be trans
Mario, who shares three children with his wife Courtney Mazza, made his controversial and factually incorrect statements on The Candace Owens Show.
He said: "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. 'Okay, well then you’re going to be a boy or a girl,' whatever the case may be. It's sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on."
Unsurprisingly, Mario's comments seriously irked the internet and many were quick to pull him up on it.
I’m disappointed to read @MarioLopezExtra comments about parent’s who support their child’s openes about their gender identity. As a social worker I am trained to identify abuse or neglect of a child. Healthy & safe dialogue w/ kids is neither abusive, neglectful or “dangerous.” https://t.co/aTkL2sLm4u— Karamo Brown (@Karamo) July 31, 2019
Medical and psychological experts, and parents of children who are transgender, have long discredited the ideas that @MarioLopezExtra shared. The real dangerous action is when someone with a public platform uses bad science to speak against a vulnerable group of children. https://t.co/kz2pEMWTBm— GLAAD (@glaad) July 31, 2019
If you’re not raising a child who is part of the LGBTQ+ community you should really be quiet. You don’t need to understand what you do not know. You both need to do better, your causal transphobia is par for the course. Christianity says leave judgment to god. @MarioLopezExtra— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) July 31, 2019
Can confirm he has thought this way for many years. Sat next to him and civilly argued these points several years ago when we were working on a TV show together. He’s dug in with this backward nonsense. Told me I didn’t get it because it was a “Latin thing”🙄— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) July 31, 2019
Clearly he has no idea what he's talking about. NOT supporting trans children is what's dangerous.— Wagatwe Wanjuki 🇰🇪 (@wagatwe) July 30, 2019
My daughters best friend is transgender. She was bullied at her previous school for dressing like a girl. She’s 7, trust me, it’s more dangerous NOT to support transgender kids! Anatomy does not determine gender-that’s an oversimplification. Evolve, people! #TransIsBeautiful— Elizabeth (@MrsECates) July 31, 2019
Following the backlash, Mario didn't turn up for presenting duties at Extra on Wednesday night (31 July). However, Extra hosts Renee Bargh and Tanika Ray addressed the Mario controversy alongside GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) director Anthony Ramos and Adolescent Medicine expert Dr Johanna Olson-Kennedy, who focuses on the care of gender non-conforming children and transgender children at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
"I think the question about when do you know your gender, what age are you when you know your gender, is a very important one because we understand that people know their gender at the age of three or four years old," Olsen-Kennedy said. "This is a big body of research that was undertaken in the 1970s."
Extra also made it clear that they didn't support Mario's comments in a statement, which read: "While we have enjoyed a long relationship with Mario Lopez, who we know to be a caring person, the opinions he expressed in this interview do not reflect those of Extra. We wholeheartedly embrace our friends from the LGBTQ community and believe they need support and love. For more support on these issues you can go to GLAAD.org."
Watch Mario on The Candace Owens Show here.
Later, Mario apologised for his "ignorant" words in a statement to People.
He said: "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."