"Access Hollywood" host and former "Saved by the Bell" star Mario Lopez is being dragged on social media after saying in an interview that he believes it is "dangerous" for parents to allow young children to pick their genders.
What are the details?
Lopez expressed his views on Hollywood with conservative pundit Candace Owens during a sit-down for her PragerU video series last month.
Roughly 11 minutes into the interview, Owens told Lopez, "A lot of weird trends come out of Hollywood ... and one of the weirder ones, for me at least, to try to process 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. 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."
Owens went on to talk about her past experience as a nanny, citing examples of kids claiming they were mermaids or even believing they could fly before adding, "I'm trying to understand this new Hollywood mentality where they just think that their children now have the mental authority."
Lopez, a father of three children, replied, "I am trying to understand it myself, and please don't lump me into that whole — I'm kind of blown away too. Look, I'm never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids obviously and ... I would say 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 my be, I just think it's dangerous as a parent to make this determination then, 'OK, well then you're going to be a boy' or a girl or whatever the case may be, and it's sort of alarming and, my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on."
Lopez reiterated, "When you're a kid...you don't know anything about sexuality yet. You're just a kid."
"I think parents need to allow their kids to be kids but at the same time, you gotta be the adult in the situation," he added. "Pause with that and I think the formative years is when you start having those discussions and really start making those declarations."
News of Lopez's remarks sparked hysteria on Twitter Wednesday as the actor's name began trending, with several critics labelling him as transphobic, and a number of them even called for him to be fired. Yahoo News reported that the actor's "commentary didn't earn Lopez any new fans on Twitter."
One user declared, "Mario Lopez is really out here saying letting kids live as their preferred gender is 'dangerous,'" before calling him a profane name.
Another threatened, "Good luck getting work now Mario," adding that Lopez "says letting kids live as preferred gender is dangerous."
Yet another troll wrote that Lopez "thinks it's dangerous for children to explore genders and sexuality. Wow so he's disgusting and cancelled."
LBTQ activist Raquel Willis tweeted, "Dear Mario Lopez, Transphobic parents are the danger not children being their truest selves. Too many parents terrorize their children by forcing them into these gender boxes and limiting their expression. If you're doing this, your parenting sucks."
Dear Mario Lopez, Transphobic parents are the danger not children being their truest selves. Too many parents te… https://t.co/5AtgEVSEyR— Raquel Willis (@Raquel Willis) 1564586588.0
But not everyone disagreed with Lopez's views, and in fact, many rushed to his defense. Brigitte Gabriel of ACT for America tweeted, "Mario Lopez is correct, 3-year-old children should not be making life-altering decisions about their gender. Not sure why this is a controversial opinion to have..."
Mario Lopez is correct, 3-year old children should not be making life-altering decisions about their gender. Not s… https://t.co/jlDTbeRrSq— Brigitte Gabriel (@Brigitte Gabriel) 1564578927.0
The Daily Wire's Ben Shapiro wrote simply, "Mario Lopez said nothing wrong here. Nothing."
Mario Lopez said nothing wrong here. Nothing. https://t.co/y166bBSe1R— Ben Shapiro (@Ben Shapiro) 1564588418.0
Lopez describes himself as a family man and a conservative, although he does not identify with any political party. In his interview with Owens, he seemed to foretell how others in Hollywood might react to his deviation from political correctness, saying "They're with you, unless it's diversity of thought."