Entertainment

UPDATE: Executives At NBC Hold ‘Emergency Meeting’ To Discuss Mario Lopez’s Future At Access Hollywood

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Mario Lopez is finding himself facing backlash after comments he made about transgender children last month during an appearance on “The Candace Owens Show” but they have just sparked blowback on social media this week. The 45-year-old television personality suggested that it was “dangerous” for parents of children as young as three years old to permanently label their kids as transgender. Earlier this week, Owens, a conservative commentator, brought up the topic when discussing  “weird trends” in Hollywood like celebrities allowing their kids to choose their identities, like Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie.

UPDATE: According to sources in touch with Radar Online, Mario Lopez’s job could be on the line following the transphobic comments he made earlier this week.

The source revealed to Radar Online that executives met to discuss Lopez’s future at NBC, specifically “Access Hollywood,” since he is set to start this September to replace Natalia Morales after she was fired. 

“The execs at NBC held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss Mario’s future with the show because they do not see how they can just let this fly,” a source told Radar Online. 

Lopez took a day off of work from “Extra” following the backlashed he received even after his public apology and returned to work on Thursday. 

The source told Radar Online, “His apology really meant nothing at all,” adding “All it does is solidify that he was aware that his comments were transphobic and hurtful.”

While NBC has yet to make an official statement regarding Lopez’s remarks, the source added that Lopez’s words do not represent what NBC stands for and that the brand “prides itself on equality” and “doesn’t accept anti-LGBTQ hate speech at all.”

Producers over at “Extra,” where Lopez is currently hosting, did release a statement this week saying: “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.”

Earlier this week Owens described raising transgender children as a “weird trend” and “scary,” Lopez agreed by calling it “dangerous” and “alarming.”

Credit: @HRC / Twitter

During the discussion, Owens mentions her days as a former nanny when she took care of young children. She believes that children at such a young age do not possess the “mental authority” to choose or express a gender identity different than the one they were assigned when born. Owens also compared children choosing a transgender identity to children pretending to be a superhero or a mermaid.

“I’m kind of blown away, too,” Lopez said in response. “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 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 that determination.”

Lopez would continue by saying that kids can be kids but parents need to become an authority when it comes to discussions of identity expression.

“I think parents need to allow their kids to be kids but at the same time, you gotta be the adult in the situation,” Lopez said. “Pause with that and—I think the formative years is when you start having those discussions and really start making these ‘declarations.’

There have been mixed opinions on social media about Lopez’s comments. 

Credit: @wade_davis28 / Twitter

Many on social media have pointed out that Lopez and Owens did not seem well-informed on transgender issues during the 40-minute interview. The LGBTQ organization PFLAG even offered to provide Lopez with “more education on what being #transgender means.”

GLAAD, a non-profit media monitoring organization founded by LGBT people, also weighed in on Lopez’s comments and the repercussions they have. The organization says that experts have long previously discredited Lopez’s claims. 

“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.”

Queer Eyes’ Karamo Brown has also put his two cents in on the controversy. 

Credit: @karamo / Twitter

The interview has also gotten the attention of Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown who responded on Twitter on Tuesday. He says he was let down to hear Lopez’s remarks but hopes this can lead to a broader discussion on the topic. 

Brown sent out a follow-up tweet noting that he doesn’t think Lopez’s comments should be a career-ender but instead a learning moment.

 “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,” Brown wrote. “Mario, I’m ready to talk when you are.”

Lopez has now since walked back on the comments. We can only hope this backlash leads to a greater overall discussion on this issue. 

Credit: @billybaldwin / Twitter

Lopez, a father of three, has been a known conservative but has also has been an ally of the LGBTQ community past years. The TV-host was a presenter at the 2011 and 2012 GLAAD Media Awards and was the grand marshal of the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade in 2015.

“The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” Lopez told PEOPLE. “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.” 

Lopez is also in hot water for claiming that the Believe All Women movement is dangerous for men who reject women.

Credit: @itsalexberg / Twitter

Lopez stated to Owens that some times people lie and those people are women. He added: “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 even exactly true, come back and hurt that individual.”

Lopez was accused of date rape in 1993 but charges were never pursued.

READ: The Second Ever Miss Trans Belleza Mexico Happened This Weekend Offering The Trans Community More Visibility

NBC Pardons Mario Lopez With ‘Saved By The Bell’ Reboot Soon After His Trans Children Comment Backlash

Entertainment

NBC Pardons Mario Lopez With ‘Saved By The Bell’ Reboot Soon After His Trans Children Comment Backlash

“Saved By the Bell” is getting a reboot with original castmembers Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley reprising their roles as Slater and Jessie. NBC Universal will air the series on their upcoming streaming service Peacock (yes, every network has got to have one now). The series will be written and executive produced by Tracey Wigfield. OG “Saved By the Bell” alumni, Peter Engel and Franco Bario will return as producers. 

This comes in the wake of NBC Universal announcing several rebooted series for Peacock including “Punky Brewster”which will star Soleil Moon Frye as a grownup version of the namesake, and a “Battlestar Galactica” reboot led by “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail. Peacock will roll out in April 2020 with over 15,000 hours of television. 

“Saved By the Bell”

No, the returning cast members won’t be playing students again, the rebooted plot is actually a bit more of the moment than that. NBC Universal’s logline for the series reads: 

“When California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the highest performing schools in the state — including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the over-privileged Bayside kids a much needed and hilarious dose of reality.”

Yes, Zack Morris is governor. Instead of following a group of rich kids, we’ll be watching a group of outsiders checking the privilege of the elite. I like this premise as an update, although it was extremely subversive in the ’90s to have black, Latinx, and Asian American actors portray the elite in the first place. Have we forgotten that Lisa Turtle was originally supposed to be a white character until Lark Voorhies nailed the audition and snagged the part?

Fans want to know if Zack Morris is governor, does that mean Mark-Paul Gosselaar will be returning too? The Wrap spoke to Gosselaar’s representative, but they and NBC Universal did not want to comment. Interesting.

Mario Lopez says it’s a done deal

Lopez, who is 45 now, confirmed he will be reviving his role as A.C. Slater. He said he may even have a mullet again.

“The deal is being done,” he told Access Hollywood. “It’s gonna happen. We are going to be rebooting “Saved By the Bell” for the new NBC streaming platform. I might be bringing back the mullet.”

The Mexican American actor played Slater from 1989 to 1993 on “Saved By the Bell,” then reprised his role in “Saved By the Bell: The College Years” in 1994 for one season. 

Elizabeth Berkley reacted perfectly

“I’m so excited. You know I just can’t hide it,” Berkley wrote in a retweet. The tweet featured an old meme of Jessie’s character hopped on caffeine pills. The episode “Jessie’s Song” has become something of a phenomenon because of her over the top performance — and of course, people wondered if caffeine pills can cause erratic behavior? No. 

“The show itself just has a goodness and an innocence and I think, especially from the feedback we’re getting, doing a redo of the scene, it really brings people back to their childhood, when it was more simple and more easy,” Berkley told E! in 2013 when she appeared on “Dancing With The Stars.”

“You go through things in life and when you get reminded of that simple time, it brings about a sweetness.”

Did Jessie and Slater wed?

The reprisal of Lopez’s and Berkley’s roles has fans wondering if this means Jessie and Slater are married with children in the reboot. Sources are saying it will focus on them as new parents but no word if they will be parenting together. Although a fan favorite, the two were an odd couple with Slater cast as the brutish jock and Jessie the feminist overachiever. The two dated during the original series and while Zack is governor, NBC Universal hasn’t revealed what the pair will be doing. 

Yes, we’re an era of reboots

It’s hard to believe that “Saved By the Bell” first aired in 1989, the year I was born, but here I am an old millennial internet ghoul. The series comes in an era of what some might call “too many” reboots. However, with the number of scripted television series airing, services find reboots to be an easy solution in an increasingly competitive market. 

“Reboots and updates of beloved series remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming platforms look for proven intellectual property with a built-in audience in a bid to cut through a scripted landscape expected to top 500 originals in 2019,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.  

“The ‘Saved by the Bell’ sequel will make noise and likely help drive interest (and subscriptions) to NBC’s forthcoming service, which joins a wave of similar upcoming offerings from the likes of Disney, WarnerMedia, Apple and Viacom’s BET.”

VIDEO: Trans Women And Queer Men Thrown Out Of Las Perlas Bar After Patrons Threatened To Kill Them, Now LA Is Boycotting

Things That Matter

VIDEO: Trans Women And Queer Men Thrown Out Of Las Perlas Bar After Patrons Threatened To Kill Them, Now LA Is Boycotting

Mezcal bar Las Perlas is facing calls for a boycott after security guards kicked out trans women and gay men after an altercation. According to reports, a man and woman maliciously misgendered the women and threatened to kill them. Bar security responded by dragging the trans women out in chokeholds. Here’s a breakdown of what happened and how Las Perlas responded prompting protest and calls for a boycott.

On Friday night, a video went viral of security at Las Perlas, a bar in downtown Los Angeles forcibly removing two trans women.

Credit: Khloe Bienestar / Facebook

The Facebook post by Khloe Bienestar, real last name Perez-Rios, details the events that led to employees of Bienestar, a Latino healthcare organization. According to the post, employees of Bienestar Health Services were at Las Perlas while celebrating DTLA PROUD, a pride event in downtown Los Angeles. While at the bar, a man and woman began harassing the group of trans women and queer men at the bar. What started as transphobic and homophobic slurs escalated into threats on their lives.

The video shows the trans women asking security guards what was wrong when they were grabbed in chokeholds and thrown out of the bar. The post claims the cis-gendered couple was removed from the bar without physical force but that was not the case for the trans women.

The video sparked immediate outrage on social media because of the treatment of the trans women in the video.

Credit: @DTAY_M / Twitter

“Why didn’t they keep us safe?” Jennifer Bianchi, the first transgender woman shown in the video, told The Washington Post. “Why did they kick us out like we were trash?”

Las Perlas released a statement shortly after the backlash mounted and have since deleted it.

Credit: lasperlasla / Instagram

The statement was met with disbelief. Commenters and patrons called out Las Perlas’s statement for downplaying the dangerous situation instigated against the trans women and queer men in the establishment. Instead, the statement attempts to shuck responsibility by saying the removal was done per bar policy, but people weren’t having it.

The bar then released a second statement trying to combat the backlash from the first statement.

Credit: lasperlasla / Instagram

In the second statement, Las Perlas makes pledges to rectify the actions and thoroughly investigate what happened Friday night. The bar owners have pledged sensitivity training for best policies on how to handle situations like this in the future.

But, people just want Las Perlas to admit that what happened was wrong and demanding answers to questions like why people were threatened with death and were thrown out of the bar.

Credit: idalia_rdl / Instagram

In response to the video, people are calling one other people to not just protest by boycotting Las Perlas, but all establishments owned by Pouring With Heart. Pouring With Heart is a hospitality group owned by Cedd Moses that runs several beloved and celebrated bars.

Some of the establishments owned by Pouring With Heart include: 4100 Bar, Arts District Brewing Company, Bar Clacson, Bar Jackalope, Bar Three Piece, Broadway Bar, Caña Rum Bar, Casey’s Irish Pub, Cole’s French Dip, Golden Gopher, Half-Step, Imperial Western Beer Company, The Normandie Club, Seven Grand, The Slipper Clutch, The Streamliner, Tony’s Saloon, and The Varnish.

Other people just flat-out don’t believe the statement.

Credit: a_mazeratti / Instagram

For some, the statement comes a little too late after the owner of the hospitality group placed blame on both sides.

The public outrage comes at a time when Las Perlas was looking to open another location in West Hollywood among other gay bars.

Credit: sofie_vissa / Instagram

It’s clear that West Hollywood patrons and residents are not in favor of the bar opening up in their neighborhood following Friday night’s altercation. According to Eater, Las Perlas was hoping to open their West Hollywood location before the end of the year.

By Saturday, 100 people assembled in front of Las Perlas and protested the establishment until they closed their doors.

The crowd blocked the entrance to the bar chanting “no justice, no peace” and “shut it down.”

You can watch the full video below.

Las night after staff from Bienestar Human Services attempted to celebrate our participation at DTLA proud, we were…

Posted by Khloe Bienestar on Saturday, August 24, 2019

What do you think about the incident at Las Perlas?

READ: A Model Who Worked For Rihanna’s Fenty Line Tried To Cover Up Her Transphobia By Saying She Was Trans