Entertainment

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

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

A Black Trans Woman Named Iyanna Dior Was Viciously Attacked By A Mob And Now She’s Speaking Out

Things That Matter

A Black Trans Woman Named Iyanna Dior Was Viciously Attacked By A Mob And Now She’s Speaking Out

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As the nation reacted to the brutal murder of George Floyd and were forced to process yet another killing of an unarmed Black man, a Black trans woman was violently attacked by a mob in the same city George Floyd was killed.

Iyanna Dior, a Black trans woman – just 21-years-old, was brutally attacked by a group of 20-30 cis-gender men, who kicked, punched, and violently attacked her. Her attack is just the most recent in a string of attacks targeting the transgender community – especially Black trans people. A Black trans woman must face anti-Blackness within the LGBTQ community while also struggling against transphobia within the community at large – it’s a fight that many are being attacked over.

So, as the country struggles over violence against black bodies, attention must be paid to the everyday violence faced by Black trans people, especially trans women, too.

A group of men attacked Iyanna Dior, a 21-year-old Black trans woman, in Minneapolis.

As the U.S. sees massive protests and a growing movement bringing attention to systemic racism, the country is also being forced to face another fact: that Black trans people are being brutally attacked and killed.

Yet another video has gone viral, showing a group of 20-30 men attacking a Black trans woman in Minneapolis. The woman, 21-year-old Iyanna Dior, had been involved in a fender bender and was chased and beaten by bystanders after being unable to pay for the damage.

In the video, the mob was shown violently beating Dior as they called her homophobic and transphobic slurs outside of a convenience store. Dior eventually escaped from her attackers after bystanders intervened by standing between her and the group. She then slipped behind the store counter and out the back door.

A day after the attack, Dior took to Facebook to say she is OK, showing her extensive injuries.

Credit: Iyanna Dior / Facebook

“The whole side of my face is swollen. It hurts so bad. On my forehead, if you run your hands across it, these are knots. That’s a whole patch of scratches,” she said in the video. “My f—ing arm is just swollen, it hurts so bad. I need to go to the hospital. My lips are cut on the inside. A lot of s— happened.”

She followed the Facebook Live with a post that read,“BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER.”

Dior’s attack comes just as the country is reeling from several high-profile murders of Black Americans – many of whom have been trans.

The beating of Dior comes on the tail end of the fatal police shooting of Tony McDade, a 38-year-old black trans man in Tallahassee, Florida, which has sparked protests among the LGBTQ community.

Activists have also brought attention to the murder of Nina Pop, 28, who was found dead in her apartment in Missouri early last month. Both McDade and Pop were initially misgendered by police departments when they released information about their deaths.

Experts have long been warning about an “epidemic” of violence against trans women of color.

In 2019, 26 transgender and non-binary people were murdered, according to the Human Rights Campaign. And of those 26, 91% were Black women. Let that sink in for a moment.

It’s obvious that the U.S. is in a crisis – especially when it comes to the systemic attacks against Black trans people. Following the now viral video of Dior’s attack, several high-profile Black trans women have taken to social media to voice their support for her and to bring awareness to the growing epidemic of violence.

The crisis is so bad that just last year, the American Medical Association adopted new policies intended to put an end to an “epidemic” of violence against trans women, particularly trans women of color. The organization, which counts 250,000 US medics as members, called on healthcare workers to recognize these attacks as a public health issue, urging medics to document violence against trans people, and collaborate with law enforcement on investigations into abuses. 

So far in 2020, according to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 12 transgender or gender-nonconforming people have been killed.

Daniel Radcliffe Hit Back At J.K. Rowling’s Transphobic Comments

Entertainment

Daniel Radcliffe Hit Back At J.K. Rowling’s Transphobic Comments

Warner Bros. Pictures

Updated June 8, 2020.

Daniel Radcliffe, the face behind the titular characters in the Harry Potter films, has stepped up as the Chosen One in a fight against the currently canceled author who built his career.

Last week, J.K. Rowling, the author who taught us as young readers the importance of love, light, and acceptance with her Harry Potter series stomped out all of the magic like a troll bursting into a dungeon. That’s right, in the midst of a pandemic and worldwide protests for racial justice, J.K. Rowling decided to use her global platform to tout her transphobic views to the 14.5 million Twitter users who follow her.

The writer has made various problematic comments about trans people in the past and her latest sound-off is confirmation that this whole time the author has been Dolores Umbridge in sheep’s clothing.

Fortunately, Radcliffe joined his fellow Dumbledore’s Army alums Katie Leung (Cho Chang) and Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger in The Cursed Child) in speaking out against Rowling’s recent transphobic comments and showing solidarity with the trans community.

Over the weekend, Rowling’s name became trending on Twitter after she mocked a headline about “people who menstruate.”

The author posted an article about creating equality for “people who menstruate” amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The article, which was posted by Devex, had a headline that read “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

Addressing the article, Rowling tweeted “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Users on Twitter were quick to slam Rowling for her ignorant tweet highlighting how her words were harmful to trans men and women but also to cisgender women who do not menstruate. As a reminder, not all cisgender women have periods: some have hysterectomies, in old age, we also go through menopause.

In response to her comments, Radcliff underlined in a letter for The Trevor Project that he wanted to speak out because of his work for the trans community.

Speaking about trans women Radcliff wrote, “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I. According to The Trevor Project, 78% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity. It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”

Radcliffe isn’t the only one who has spoken out against Rowling’s harmful words. Eddie Redmayne, the lead actor in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, also spoke out against J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans tweets.

“Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself,” Redmayne said in a statement to Variety. “This is an ongoing process… As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”

In a tweet posted to her account, Dumezweni shared a tweet listing a series of prominent transgender women.

No doubt, Rowling’s words proved to be extremely upsetting for fans of Rowling who found her stories to be a light in their darkness.

“I decided not to kill myself because I wanted to know how Harry’s story ended,” one user wrote. “For a long time, that was all that kept me alive. Until I met my husband who helped me learn to love myself and to want to live. You just insulted him to my face. I hate you.”

Many were quick to slam Rowling, letting her know that her message of exclusionary language makes the lives of trans people more difficult.

“You have power and influence. Why would you do this? What does it achieve?” Singer-songwriter Mary Lambert tweeted. “Do you feel like more of a woman when you punch down? Are you threatened? Some trans men menstruate. Why does that affect you? Why do you want to police that?”

GLAAD also condemned Rowling’s comments and “for targeting trans people”

“JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans,” the organization wrote. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.”

No surprise, Rowling’s response to critics was just about as pathetic as any apology from her would be at this point. In a subsequent Twitter thread, she wrote that “erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.”