TV personality Mario Lopez has apologized for comments he made about parents who allow children to choose their gender identity at a very young age.
“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, whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination,” Lopez told conservative commentator Candace Owens on her podcast last month.
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The former Saved by the Bell actor was responding to a question from Owens about one of the “weird trends” in Hollywood where parents allow children to pick their gender identity.
Owens said she doesn’t have children of her own, but “nannied for five years of my life” and doesn’t believe kids “have the mental authority” to make such decisions.
Lopez responded, “Please don’t lump me into” that group of Hollywood parents. “It’s sort of alarming and, my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on,” he added.
[Watch the interview below]
He went on to say: “Parents need to allow their kids to be kids, but at the same time you have to be the adult in the situation. Pause with that and I think the formative years is when you start having those discussions and really start making those declarations.”
After facing intense backlash from the LGBTQ community, Lopez issued an apology.
“The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” he said in a statement Wednesday to CNN. “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 was just announced as the new host of syndicated entertainment news magazine Access Hollywood after several years with Extra.
He and his wife Courtney are parents to three children, Gia Francesca, 8, Dominic Luciano, 5 and Santino Rafael, 3 weeks.