Mario Lopez missed the latest taping of Extra after apologizing for controversial comments he made about raising transgender children during an appearance on the Candace Owens podcast last month.
Hosts Renee Bargh and Tanika Ray addressed the controversy on Wednesday’s show as Lopez was inexplicably absent.
They brought in GLAAD director Anthony Ramos and Dr Johanna Olson Kennedy, a leading expert on trans youth development 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. This is a big body of research that was undertaken in the 1970s,’ Olsen-Kennedy said.
Ramos added: ‘I think it is important to realize that people can say: “Yes, I support the community, I have gay friends. My cousin or my aunt is a lesbian.” I think it is wonderful. But at the end of the day it is important to be educated on all aspects of our community.’
Lopez apologized in a statement to People, saying: ‘The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were.’
The TV personality, 45, faced harsh criticism after suggesting that it was ‘dangerous’ for the parents of transgender children to support their their offspring’s transition.
Recognizing his mistake: Mario Lopez has apologized for comments he made disparaging the parents of transgender children, telling People he now realizes how his comments were ‘ignorant and insensitive’
Speaking to conservative pundit Candace Owens on her podcast back in June, Lopez discussed what he called the ‘new trend’ where Hollywood celebrities are, as Candace described, ‘saying their child is picking their gender.’
‘I am trying to understand it myself, and please don’t lump me into that whole [group],’ Lopez bristled.
‘I’m kind of blown away too. Look, I’m never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids obviously and I think 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.’
Appearing misinformed, Mario suggested transgender people were simply choosing a gender on a whim instead of recognizing them as people whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
‘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.’
He also went on to conflate sexuality – which relates to one’s sexual orientation – with gender identity telling Owens: ‘When you’re a kid… You don’t know anything about sexuality, you’re just a kid.’
Uninformed: Mario joined the conservative pundit earlier this year on her podcast and discussed this ‘new trend’ where Hollywood celebrities are, as Candace described, ‘saying their child is picking their gender’
Not OK: Speaking to conservative pundit Candace Owens on her podcast, Lopez discussed what he called the ‘new trend’ where Hollywood celebrities are, as Candace described, ‘saying their child is picking their gender’
Lopez told parents they have to be ‘the adult in the situation’ and wait until their child’s ‘formative years’ to make determinations about gender or transitioning.
‘I personally think it’s just way too young to start making these… I know other parents who have certain parenting styles that I necessarily don’t agree with, but I do know they’re good people and they’re coming from a good place,’ he said.
His comments elicited a strong response from the LGBTQ community as well as allies, who slammed the former Saved By The Bell actor for his ignorance.
But by Wednesday, Lopez apologized to the LGBTQ community for his comments, saying he’s always been an ‘ardent supporter’ of their rights.
‘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,’ Mario told People in his statement. ‘Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.’
Louder: Jonathan Van Ness urged Mario Lopez to ‘do better’ after the television host’s questionable comments about trans youth
It seemed like the queer community’s outcry lead Lopez to reflect about his comments.
Before Mario’s Wednesday ‘mea culpa’ Jonathan Van Ness of Queer Eye urged him to ‘do better.’
The 32-year-old took to Twitter to share a few choice words explaining why Lopez’s comments on the conservative show were unnecessary.
‘If you’re not raising a child who is part of the LGBTQ+ community you should really be quiet,’ Van Ness wrote to his followers. ‘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.’
Talk about it: Jonathan fired back at the Extra host on Twitter and told him to ‘be quiet’ about LGBTQ+ matters
Preach: Van Ness wrote ‘The persecution that trans & non binary people face bc some small minded people are blindly identified with the gender binary is deadly’
Jonathan added on Twitter: ‘The persecution that trans & non binary people face bc some small minded people are blindly identified with the gender binary is deadly. Trans & Non binary people face violence, death, homelessness, discrimination because of this constant lack of understanding and need to judge.’
Fellow Queer Eye coach Karamo Brown also chimed in on the harsh words from Lopez and wrote: ‘I’m disappointed to read [Lopez’s] comments about parents who support their child’s openness 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.”‘
Karamo even offered to talk to Mario about his confusion, writing: ‘I don’t think @MarioLopezExtra should be “canceled.” But I do believe he should be given the opportunity to learn why his comments are harmful to trans youth and their parents. Mario, I’m ready to talk when you are.’
Reaching out: Karamo Brown also chimed in on the harsh words from Lopez and wrote: ‘I don’t think @MarioLopezExtra should be ‘canceled’. But I do believe he should be given the opportunity to learn why his comments are harmful to trans youth and their parents. Mario, I’m ready to talk when you are’