Mario Lopez fanned flames with comments he made in a recent interview that suggested it was a slippery slope for parents to allow their children to choose their gender identity at an early age.
“My God, if you’re 3 years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way, and think you’re a boy or a girl, or whatever the case may be... I think it’s dangerous, as a parent, to make that determination," Lopez told conservative pundit Candace Owens on her show after she called the trend of raising transgender children “weird” and “scary” in a June conversation with the “Extra” host.
Lopez, 45, was immediately inundated with backlash over his comments, but none more upfront and engaging than a Twitter response he received from Karamo Brown, who acts as the culture expert on Netflix’s revival of “Queer Eye.”
“I’m disappointed to read @MarioLopezExtra comments about parent’s who support their child’s openes [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,'”
The star sent a follow-up tweet noting that he doesn’t think Lopez’s comments should be a career-ender.
“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.”
However, the charismatic Lopez was quick to get ahead of the situation and issued an apology for his remarks.
“The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” the “Saved by the Bell” alum said Wednesday in a statement obtained by Fox News. “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 isn't a stranger to making controversial statements. The actor recently commented on the ongoing saga surrounding the college admissions scandal and told Us Weekly he personally knows Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, the two stars among the dozens charged for their alleged involvement in the bribery scheme led by William “Rick” Singer.
“Obviously, it’s an unfortunate story,” said Lopez. “And I happen to know Felicity and Lori, and the people involved are nice people. Sometimes, nice people make mistakes and do tough stuff. You know, as a parent, you want to do anything for your kid, but sometimes that can get a little cloudy.”
Lopez and his wife Courtney share three children, Gia Francesca, 8, Dominic Luciano, 5 and Santino Rafael, 3.
Fox News' Nicole Darrah and Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.