Nuevo Culture

Mario Lopez Goes Viral Due to Fans Not Knowing He’s Mexican — No, But Seriously

Mario Lopez recently turned 50, and yet the fact that he is actually Mexican-American is apparently still surprising fans. 

Lopez found himself trending on X, formerly known as Twitter, because of this very reason and responded with a video whose caption read: “Ok, let’s set the record straight for the people in the back. I’m a Mexican-American Actor/TV host with slang tendencies. Just not on TV!”

In the video, Lopez jokes about the fact that with “a name like Mario Lopez,” it’s funny that people don’t think he’s Mexican. “They’ve been thinking I’m everything from Italian to Hawaiian, but I’m not.”

He goes on to explain that he’s been doing food videos “with my homies” and there’s a lot of “being yourself” in those videos and a lot of slang. “I can’t be like that on Access Hollywood or on my radio show. I’m trying to cash these checks. I can’t be sounding all hood like that. I gotta keep it a little more polished or buttoned up.”

Lopez’s explanation opened up a conversation of code-switching – which is when someone, typically from an underrepresented community, adjusts the way they talk, behave or look to fit in. Sadly, the reality is that, in our communities, code-switching is often ingrained and very much expected in some industries. 

As always, though, the reaction from the Internet has run the gamut, from people being genuinely surprised that people didn’t know he was Mexican.

Others didn’t even realize he was code-switching in the first place. 

Some even brought up racism being part of the problem.

And some were straight-up joking about the fact that Mario Lopez never behaved like he even knew he was Mexican.

The internet has a place for everything.