Lopez made the comments during an appearance on the Candace Owens podcast last month, suggesting that it was “dangerous” for parents to be supportive of a child’s transition.
Today, he issued a statement to People, saying, “The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were.”
No explanation was given for Lopez’s absence from today’s show, although Extra hosts Renee Bargh and Tanika Ray addressed the controversy by interviewing GLAAD director Anthony Ramos and Dr Johanna Olson Kennedy, an expert on trans youth development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Lopez’s comments were not well-received by the Extra show producers, who issued their own statement today.
“While we have enjoyed a long relationship with Mario Lopez, who we know to be a caring person, the opinions he expressed in this interview do not reflect those of Extra. We wholeheartedly embrace our friends from the LGBTQ community and believe they need support and love. For more support on these issues you can go to GLAAD.org.”
The controversy began in June on the Candace Owens podcast, a forum for conservative views. Lopez is one of the few open conservatives in show business and has been outspoken about his views.
Owens asked Lopez about parents – specifically Hollywood celebrities – who allow their child to pick their gender.
“I am trying to understand it myself, and please don’t lump me into that whole,” Lopez said. “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 three-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.'”
He concluded, “I Just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination then — ‘Okay, well then you’re going to be 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.”
Lopez said parents have to wait until a child’s “formative years” before making transitioning choices.
The remarks drew a loud rebuke from many in the LGBTQ community, leading to his apology and claims he’s been an “ardent supporter” of their rights. He said he would “better educate myself” moving forward.