July 31, 2019
"Unfortunately, I think you suffer consequences in this business if you don't fall in line." When Mario Lopez said that on "The Candace Owens Show" in June, he had no idea how prophetic those words would become. Now, the "Saved by the Bell" star-turned-family guy is in the middle of the firestorm of his life. Why? Because he dared to challenge this radical idea that children who aren't old enough to spell "gender" should be able to change theirs.
Known by most fans as A.C. Slater, Lopez has been in show business since he was 10. So if anyone understands how Hollywood works, it's him. "I really don't ever talk about politics, because... I don't want to alienate anyone," he told Candace in a disarmingly honest interview that spanned a wide range of topics. But these days, he does talk about faith and, like a lot of Americans, doesn't understand how the topic became so polarizing. For Mario, who wasn't a conservative when he was younger, his beliefs started evolving when he got married and started a family.
"There is a component of being young that sort of attaches you to liberalism because you're experimenting and you want to feel that you can try everything. But ultimately what I always tell people is I wasn't happy. So as I became more conservative and, and sort of had this return back to faith and a return back to family and really valuing those things, I became a happier person. And it's bizarre to me that this is considered so controversial when I read about myself. I mean, if I had just switched my affiliation that and said I was a liberal, I think Hollywood would love me. I think I'd be celebrated."
Over the past 48 hours, however, it wasn't his politics that got Lopez in hot water. It was expressing an opinion, contrary to the entertainment industry, on transgenderism. When Candace brought up fellow celebrities, like Charlize Theron, who's telling the world her seven-year-old is a "transgender girl," Mario said he was blown away. "Look," he said, "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 [my gosh], if you're three years old, and you're saying you're feeling a certain way or 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, okay, well then you're going to be a boy or a girl... [I]t's sort of alarming. And my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on. Right?"
To most Americans, who are horrified at the progression of this new liberal orthodoxy, Lopez's comments were refreshingly honest. Liberals and conservatives alike have been increasingly vocal about the dangers of encouraging children to mutilate their bodies in the name of political correctness. "When you're a kid... you don't know anything about sexuality yet," Lopez insisted. "Parents need to allow their kids to be kids, but at the same time you gotta be the adult in the situation... I think the formative years is when you start having those discussions and really start making these declarations. [Three years old] is way too young for some of [this]... [T]he trend is actually harming children. And I'm super protective of children."
This week, almost a month after the show, Lopez's interview surfaced to ferocious backlash from Hollywood. Within a day, the controversy was the number one trending topic on Twitter, and people started timing how long it would take the LGBT army to force his apology. "Evidently," PragerU tweeted, "it's now *scandalous* to say that a child probably shouldn't be making their own life-altering decisions at three years old." He was accused of "spreading idiocy," "hate," and "publicly crossing a line" -- all for a viewpoint that, five years ago, even Tinseltown would have considered mainstream!
Even now, feminist groups and liberal parents are crying out for Americans to wake up to this dangerous agenda. Groups that would have never been considered allies are teaming up to fight for the future of girls, privacy, women's sports, and parents' rights. Moms and dads, who've suffered through the government ripping their children away or authorizing treatments against their will, are speaking out. Doctors are resigning from clinics that rush kids into puberty-blockers. Attorneys are filing suit to stop states from bypassing parents on painful, body-mutilating surgeries. National organizations from both sides are pleading with the U.S. Surgeon General to investigate the harms of puberty-blockers on minors.
According to young adults here, here, and here, the "repercussions" Mario talked about are real. But Lopez isn't a victim of the mob because he's wrong -- he's a victim of the mob because he spoke truth. As Mario said, eerily foreshadowing the controversy to come, "It is interesting to see, for a community that's supposed to be all about inclusivity and diversity, they're with you -- unless it's diversity of thought."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.