UPDATE, July 31, 2:30 p.m.: After receiving backlash for the below comments, Lopez made the following statement to People magazine:
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.
Original post, July 31, 1:30 p.m.: Too bad, A.C. Slater fans: Recently released clips from Mario Lopez’s June interview on the conservative PragerU video series The Candace Owens Show, reveal that the former game-show host stated that “parents who allow their children to live according to their self-identified genders are setting a ‘dangerous’ example,” according to Yahoo! Lifestyle. Honestly, just the fact that the Saved By The Bell vet/current Extra host appeared on Candace Owens’ show should have been a significant warning sign.
In the conversation, Owens brings up what she termed the “weird trend” in Hollywood of celebrities taking the cue from their kids as to what gender they are, like Charlize Theron recently did with her 7-year-old trans daughter. Lopez commented, “My God, if you’re 3 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 this determination... It’s sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on… When you’re a kid... you don’t know anything about sexuality yet. You’re just a kid.”
Some experts were quick to call Lopez out on Twitter, especially the important difference between “gender” and “sexuality.” And the fact that many kids have strong feelings about their true gender even at young ages.