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

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More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

Things That Matter

More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

Trans rights are under siege in over half of the United States this year, as 28 states have proposed one or more anti-trans bills. The bills range from banning trans children from playing on sports teams to prohibiting doctors from giving trans youth life-saving care. 

Despite winning the White House and both houses of Congress, we cannot grow complacent. Now is the time for others from the LGBTQ community and allies to stand up and protect our trans brothers and sisters.

At least 28 states have proposed anti-trans legislation that could severely harm the community.

Less than three months into the new year, Republican lawmakers have already introduced a record number of anti-trans bills across the country.

According to a report published Monday by Axios, at least 73 pieces of legislation have already been put forward in state legislatures targeting members of the transgender community. Of those proposals, 65 specifically single out trans youth, such as bills prohibiting the kinds of medical care doctors can offer trans minors and others seeking to limit the participation of trans student athletes in school sports. 

Notable examples include legislative efforts by South Dakota and Mississippi, both of which passed bills in the past week blocking trans girls from competing in school athletics in accordance with their gender identity. After being approved by their respective Houses and Senates, their governors have vowed to sign them.

These would be the first bills of their kind to become law in the U.S. after numerous attempts to pass anti-trans sports bills in previous years. In 2019, a bill targeting trans student athletes failed in the South Dakota House by just one vote.

LGBTQ+ advocates are warning that the influx of this type of legislation will harm trans and nonbinary youth.

Trans advocates and experts argue that bills like this do not protect young trans people, and recent studies support this. In February, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report which argued that banning the trans community from certain sports programs would deprive an entire group of people of the benefits of athletics, including lower risks of depression, anxiety, and drug use. Despite so many states introducing legislation targeting trans youth in sports, the report also found that the argument of an “unfair advantage” does not actually hold up to data-driven scrutiny.

“This has been a significant part of my work at the ACLU for the past six years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the ACLU, told CNN. “There have never been this many bills targeting trans youth voted out of committee and then making it to the floor.”

There is widespread opposition to anti-trans bills, and not just from LGBTQ+ civil rights groups. More than 55 major corporations have endorsed a statement against these bills and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in general; they include Facebook, Pfizer, Microsoft, AT&T, Apple, Dell, American Airlines, and many more. Nearly 550 college athletes have signed a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association demanding that championship games be pulled from states that have anti-trans sports laws or are close to enacting them. More than 1,000 child welfare groups have taken a stand against legislation that would keep trans youth out of school sports or deny them health care.

States that enact anti-LGBTQ+ legislation often experience boycotts, as was the case with North Carolina and its anti-trans “bathroom bill” in 2016 and Indiana with its discriminatory religious freedom law in 2015. The former has now been repealed, the latter amended.

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This Poor Mom Had To Spend 20 Hours Detangling Her Daughter’s Hair To Free It Of 150 Velcro-Toys

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This Poor Mom Had To Spend 20 Hours Detangling Her Daughter’s Hair To Free It Of 150 Velcro-Toys

I think it’s safe to say that during this strange time of quarantine, that we can definitely count parents among the heroes.

Stay at home orders and efforts to keep children at home, have caused parents to have to reevaluate their daily schedules. Now, so many parents are working double time to give their students the attention and education that they truly need.

A Pennsylvania mom recently highlighted the chaos of this new reality after showing what happened when she let her children play with toys after they’d finished their school work.

In a post shared on her Facebook Lisa Hoelzle shared a nightmarish experience of having to detangle her daughter Abigail’s hair after her son Noah dumped her into a hairy situation.

I post the good …. well here is some of the bad ☹️☹️☹️ Friday at 4pm until Saturday at 10pm was my worst Mom…

Publicado por Lisa Tschirlig Hoelzle en Domingo, 10 de enero de 2021

Hoelzle’s children are both 6 years old and like most kids in the United States right now, staying at home and doing virtual school. After finishing their school day, Noah and Abigail headed down to their basement to play with Bunchems, a toy that includes tiny Velcro-like balls that stick together.

It didn’t take long for sweet Noah, who Hoelzle describes in her post as a “jokester,” to dump a full container of the Bunchems on his sister’s head. Little did he know he’d just launched his sister into a mother’s “worst Mom nightmare.”

“I think I had an out-of-body experience,” Hoelzle wrote of the moment she saw her daughter’s hair. “She had about 150 of these things layered and matted in her hair. They made it worse trying to remove them themselves because they connect together kinda like Velcro.”

Bunchems hair
LISA TSCHIRLIG HOELZLE/ Facebook

Speaking about her initial plan of action Hoelzle, said that it took around three hours to remove fifteen of the Bunchems. When her husband, Dan, arrived home the two Google their next approach and only then realized “the severity of what we were up against. It suggested using conditioner and vegetable oil to loosen it but that made it worse and so messy. He got out about 10 more Before you knew, it was 1 am and Abigail could not keep her eyes open I slept with her head on me so they wouldn’t get more tangled. Not that I really could sleep.”

When it came to cutting her losses and, cutting her daughter’s hair Hoelzle said she just couldn’t do it. “If we cut them out because of how deep they were she would have winded up with a short pixie cut,” she explained. “It crushed my heart and I just couldn’t in my heart give up without trying my best to get them out. I am that Mom that has a bow to match each outfit! Haha”

The next day, Lisa went back to work, this time armed with mineral oil and a detangling comb.

“There was also a lot of tears (mine)” Hoelzle joked. “Abigail consoled me and Noah because he felt awful what he did. Abigail was surprisingly amazing about it !! She is usually the child that acts like you are killing her when I brush her hair! When she started to wine about it my Mom brought in a Lollipop and stuck it in her mouth! Lol. Hey, you got to do what you got to do! It was such a long day. I never watched so much kids U tube to entertain her but after 20 hours total after pulling and working them out of her head and lots of hair loss I got them all out. Followed by an hour or more in the bath tub with conditioner and combing out the knots.”

“I feel like we had a miracle with all of our prayers,” Hoelzl added. “We saved her hair and although it is thinner it wasn’t as damaged and ruined as I thought so Thank you God!!!” she wrote.

While Hoelzle says her fingers are “literally swollen” from the experience she is thankful to be done with the “awful situation.”

Bunchems hair
LISA TSCHIRLIG HOELZLE/ Facebook

She is now set on getting the word out about Bunchems and the severe consequences the toys can have.

“This will be something we will never forget very traumatic experience in the Hoelzle household this weekend,” she said before asking her friends to spread the word. “Trash you Bunchems if you have them or if you love them where a shower caps when playing with a sibling! Lol. This will be something we will never forget very traumatic experience in the Hoelzle household this weekend. I kept trying to think we have our health it [could] be worse but boy oh boy what a sickening feeling!”

Bunchems are still available to purchase but they were discontinued last year, likely for this reason.

According to New York Post, spokesperson for Spin Master, the company behind Bunchems said that they “quickly developed instructional videos for our YouTube channel and websites as a way to proactively educate people on how to play with the product and how to remove Bunchems from hair if they do get tangled.”

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