"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 this determination then," Mario said.
Mario Lopez has issued a statement acknowledging his comments regarding transgender children were "ignorant and insensitive", and "hurtful".
The incoming "Access Hollywood" host was trending high on Twitter on Wednesday morning after he claimed letting young children self-identify their genders was "dangerous".
"The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were," he said. "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."
Put your money where your mouth is @MarioLopezExtra spread some of your wealth and influence with this incredible orginazation @TransEquality (also your apology was so hollow & clearly crafted by a publicist) 😘
How are you an ardent supporter of our community when you think like that? All the LGBTQ people you interview & you go talk like this and phone in an apology I just like really. No . Am. Not. Convinced. Takes more than an hour to gain the sensitivity you lack. GROSS
Lopez originally expressed his controversial viewpoint on Candace Owens' podcast in June, which resurfaced this week.
During the interview, Owens asked about the new "weird trend" of Hollywood celebrities such as Charlize Theron announcing that their child is self-identifying their own gender.
"I am trying to understand it myself, and please don't lump me into that whole [group]," Lopez responded. "I'm kind of blown away too."
"Look, 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 this determination then, 'well, OK, then you're going to a boy or a girl,' whatever the case may be," he said. "It's sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on."
He added: "When you're a kid... you don't know anything about sexuality yet. You're just a kid."
"Parents need to allow their kids to be kids, but at the same time you gotta be the adult in the situation. Pause with that... i think the formative years is when you start having those discussions and really start making these declarations... personally I just think it's way too young."
His comments drew plenty of ire online, with many pointing out the difference between gender and sexuality.
"Queer Eye" star Karamo Brown was among those questioning the comments, calling them "harmful", and offered to bring Lopez up to speed.
"I'm disappointed to read @MarioLopezExtra comments about parent's who support their child's openes about their gender identity. As a social worker I am trained to identify abuse or neglect of a child. Healthy & safe dialogue w/ kids is neither abusive, neglectful or "dangerous." [sic]
He added: "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. Mario, I'm ready to talk when you are."
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. Mario, I'm ready to talk when you are.
When a follower challenged Karamo, backing Lopez's claim this was sexualizing a child, he replied: "First, there is a differnce between Gender identity & sexual identity. Children who are engaging in thoughtful & heathy conversations w/ a parent about their child's gender is in no way 'grooming' them & is in no way sexualizing them." [sic]
Van Ness had also weighed in: "If you're not raising a child who is part of the LGBTQ+ community you should really be quiet. You don't need to understand what you do not know. You both need to do better, your causal transphobia is par for the course. Christianity says leave judgment to god."
However many supported Lopez, insisting children claiming they were a different gender should be taken with the same amount of salt as them insisting they are unicorns, princesses or superheroes.
Meanwhile the 45-year-old, who has an eight-year-old daughter and five-year-old son, drew further heat on Twitter for comments he made elsewhere in the interview, this time about the #BelieveWomen movement, which he described as a "dangerous hashtag because people lie and sometimes those people are women."
"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 really hurt that individual," he said. "If we're just supposed to assume she's telling the truth without any sort of proof or evidence, that's incredibly dangerous."
See more of the reactions below:
If you're not raising a child who is part of the LGBTQ+ community you should really be quiet. You don't need to understand what you do not know. You both need to do better, your causal transphobia is par for the course. Christianity says leave judgment to god. @MarioLopezExtra
We spoke with Extra and it is clear that the showrunners do not support or share his view. They will address this issue on the show tonight. Lopez clearly needs a primer on trans issues. We reached out to his team to see if and how he will correct the record.