NEW YORK - Mario Lopez apologized Wednesday for telling conservative commentator Candace Owens that it's "dangerous" and "alarming" for parents to honor the wishes of young children who identify with a gender other than the one assigned at birth.
"The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were," the longtime "Extra" host said in a statement released by his publicist.
"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 said.
He outraged many when he told Owens on her PragerU YouTube show that, like Owens, he is "blown away" when parents tolerate very young children who make gender determinations that early.
Owens asked Lopez about "weird trends" in Hollywood and mentioned that Charlize Theron recently said her 7-year-old, Jackson, did not identify as a boy. Owens described as a "new Hollywood mentality" such celebrity parents who believe their kids have the "mental authority" to choose a gender.
Lopez agreed and added: "I'm never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids, obviously, and I always say if you come from a place of love, you really can't go wrong."
He then continued:
"But at the same time, my God, if you're 3 years old and you're saying you're feeling a certain way and you think you're a boy or girl, whatever the case may be, I just think it's dangerous as a parent to make that determination then."
And he went on yet again: "My daughter thinks some boys have cooties. You don't know anything about sexuality yet. You're just a kid."
Lopez left "Extra" to be a host of "Access Hollywood." He's due to debut there in September.