Twitter Reacts To Mario Lopez's Transphobic Comments

During an appearance in the PragerU video series The Candace Owens Show, Mario Lopez and the controversial conservative media personality sat down to discuss a multitude of topics. Eventually, Owens touched on actress Charlize Theron and her announcement that her daughter is transgender.

"A lot of weird trends come out of Hollywood and one of the weirder ones, for me, is this new trend where celebrities are coming out — and I know Charlize Theron did this a few weeks ago — is saying that their child is picking their gender," Candace Owens said (via Yahoo! Lifestyle). "And this is strange to me, and they say, 'Oh, I looked at my child and my child was swimming in a bathtub and looked up and said, 'Mommy, I'm a boy' and that's weird ..." She added, "I am trying to understand this new Hollywood mentality where they just think their children now have the mental authority."

Mario Lopez agreed, then offered up his humble take on parenting a trans kid. That's when A.C. Slater stepped right in it.

"I am trying to understand it myself, and please don't lump me into that whole [group]," the former Saved By The Bell star 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 ... It's sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on." The Access Hollywood host added, "When you're a kid ... you don't know anything about sexuality yet. You're just a kid."

And as with any opinion on a controversial topic, Lopez's comments quickly caught the attention of Twitter.

"Mario Lopez's suggestion that parents ought not accept their trans kids — kids who face staggering levels of suicide, bullying and other hurdles — is cruel. He conflated sexual orientation and gender identity, which is a pretty big tell that ya don't know anything about this," BuzzFeed News' Alex Berg tweeted.

"Of our 5 kids, 2 are queer. They both came out in their early teens but we knew who they were way, way before then. Parents can tell the different [sic] between a 3 year old who pretends to be another gender for fun and one who feels they are living in the wrong body. STFU Mario Lopez," journalist Holly Figueroa O'Reilly tweeted.

"I'm disappointed to read @MarioLopezExtra comments about parent's who support their child's opens [sic] 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,'" Queer Eye's Karamo Brown tweeted. 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."

Not every reaction was quite as forgiving as Karamo Brown's, however.

"Ok let's begin here with the fact that Mario Lopez went on the Candace Owens show – that's all you need to know. SMH dude – fire your publicist and your booker immediately," one user tweeted.

"Add A.C. Slater to your list of things to disavow/boycott. You know what's actually dangerous? NOT supporting transgender kids – kids who have astronomical suicide rates compared to their peers. In conclusion – F*** YOU, Mario Lopez," another user tweeted.

"So Candace Owens makes this false ass claim about a 'trend coming out of Hollywood' because of ONE actress and how's she's raising her trans child and Mario Lopez gives an uneducated response to that false claim. I see nothing but conservatives continuing to be disingenuous," another user wrote.

"Also, reminder than Mario Lopez's first marriage was annulled like 5 days after it happened b/c he f****d around at his bachelor party and other s***. So don't come screaming about 'morality' and 'family values' — trans kids and their parents have values. He doesn't!" media and technology journalist Christina Warren tweeted.

"I don't think Mario Lopez meant any harm in his comments, by the way. I do think it speaks to a lot of the misinformation out there about trans kids, however. People and groups spread misinformation that gets regurgitated as fact, leading people to draw false conclusions," Media Matters' Parker Malloy tweeted.

Hours after the online backlash erupted, Lopez must've turned his phone back on, at which point he issued an apology statement to People:

"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."