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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.