Celebrities like Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie have shown the world that they accept how their children identify. But for Candance Owens, an ultra conservative host, this poses a problem. During a June episode of The Candance Owens Show, she spoke to Mario Lopez about what she described as a “weird trend,” and the Latino Access Hollywood host agreed that letting children tell their parents what gender they identify with is “dangerous.”

Owens said, “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. 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…”

“I am trying to understand it myself, and please don’t lump me into that whole [group],” Lopez replied. “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 [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.”

Though the comments were made in June, they have now resurfaced on social media, and many are upset at how insensitive they are. Parents who are allowing their children to dictate how they identify are supporting them, and telling them that they are wrong about how they feel at a young age, can be damaging. Lopez, however, thinks that parents have to “be adult in the situation” and tell them to put their feelings on the back burner.

“I think the formative years is when you start having those discussions and really start making these declarations,” he said, with air quotes.

The interview is not a good look for Lopez, who is being called transphobic online.


Update, July 31, 2019 at 3 p.m. ET: Mario Lopez released a statement apologizing for his comments. “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.”