Hiding out? Mario Lopez didn’t show up for work at Extra on Wednesday, July 31, after he made some controversial comments about transgender kids in an interview.

Since the 45-year-old didn’t appear on the entertainment show, hosts Renee Bargh and Tanika Ray addressed the controversy and even brought in GLAAD director Anthony Ramos and Adolescent Medicine physician Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy. “I think the question about when do you know your gender, what age are you when you know your gender is a very important one because we understand that people know their gender at the age of three or four years old,” Dr. Olson-Kennedy said. “This is a big boy of research that was undertaken in the 1970s.”

Meanwhile, Extra also released a statement about the incident and made it clear that they do not support Mario’s view on the matter. “While we have enjoyed a long relationship with Mario Lopez, who know to be a caring person, the opinions he expressed in this interview do not reflect those of Extra,” they said. “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.”

Candace Owens Sitting Down With Mario Lopez
YouTube/Candace Owens Show/Prager U

Mario appeared on The Candace Owens Show — who is very conservative — in June and discussed raising children in this day and age. “There are some weird trends and one of the weirder ones, for me, is this new trend where celebrities are coming out — I know Charlize Theron did this a few weeks ago — is saying that their child is picking their gender,” the 30-year-old host explained. “And this is strange to me, just because they say, ‘I looked at my child. My child was swimming in a bathtub and looked up and said, ‘Mommy, I’m a boy.’ That’s weird, too, because even though I am not a parent, I nannied for five years of my life and the things that come out of children’s mouths — they say whatever in the moment. I am trying to understand this new Hollywood mentality where they just think their children now have the mental authority.”

The Saved by the Bell alum revealed that he is still figuring everything out, too. “I am trying to understand it myself, and please don’t lump me into that whole [group],” he responded. “I’m kind of blown away, too. Look, I’m never going 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 feel a certain way or you think you’re a boy or 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 girl, whatever the case may be. It’s sort of alarming, and I just think about the repercussions later on.”

Mario Lopez Wearing a Blue Shirt With Khaki Pants Outside the Extra Set
Shutterstock

Naturally, many fans took to Twitter to vent about the conversation. One person wrote, “Mario Lopez should mind his business and worry about his own children. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, even wrong ones. But criticizing someone’s parenting publicly crosses a line,” while another echoed, “Mario Lopez or A.C. Slater from Saved by the Bell is canceled.”

Shortly afterward, the dad of three apologized for his remarks. “The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” he told In Touch in a statement. “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.”

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