Mario Lopez apologises for 'hurtful' comments about transgender children
Former Saved by the Bell actor Mario Lopez has been forced to apologise, after making comments which were perceived as transphobic by certain members of the LGBT+ community.
Lopez's remarks were made while appearing on controversial conservative pundit, Candace Owen's podcast, during which time the subject of discussion turned to whether trans children should have the personal autonomy to determine their gender.
Lopez stated: "I am trying to understand this new Hollywood mentality where they just think their children now have the mental authority."
He added: "My daughter thinks some boys have cooties. 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. Pause with that and - I think the formative years is when you start having those discussions and really start making these declarations."
After many took offence to Lopez's comments, the actor (who is best known for playing the character of A.C. Slater in the hit nineties teen sitcom, Saved By The Bell) apologised publicly.
In a statement made to PEOPLE magazine, Lopez claimed: "I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were. 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."
Meanwhile, Candace Owen herself expressed outrage over the apology on Twitter, writing: "PSA: Bullying people into issuing public statements of apology so that they can keep their careers - because they state a FACT - that 3-year-olds are not equipped to make life-altering decisions - is why @realDonaldTrump is your President. Leftists are SICK. [sic]"
Lopez himself has three young children; a daughter and two sons, with his spouse Courtney Mazza.