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Mario Lopez set the doubters straight — he's Mexican American

In a video, the longtime Access Hollywood co-host seemed surprised that people were questioning his Latino heritage after seeing him on videos discussing Mexican dishes.
Mario Lopez attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on in Hollywood, Calif. on March 12, 2023.
Mario Lopez attends the Academy Awards in Hollywood on March 12.Arturo Holmes / Getty Images

Mario Lopez just wanted to show us how yummy his mariscos (shrimps) with mayonnaise were, but instead he shocked a few fans with this reality: He’s Mexican American!

In a video he posted on social media, the longtime "Access Hollywood" co-host noticed he was trending. When Lopez investigated why, he learned some people were shocked to find out he was of Mexican descent when they saw him on videos discussing his favorite dishes, using slang of the raza, or culture.

Lopez found it all pretty hilarious. "People don't think I'm Mexican. Is that a trip? With a name like Mario Lopez?" he said in a response video. "They've been thinking I'm everything from Italian to Hawaiian," he said with a smile. He tried to offer an explainer and show the side of himself that many don't see on his shows.

"I think it's because I've been doing these food videos with my homies and it's a lot of Mexican food, a lot of mariscos. ... I'm saying 'foo,' 'homes' and a lot of slang and just kind of being yourself and I can't be like that on 'Access Hollywood' or my radio show. I'm trying to cash these checks. I can't be all hood like that."

Lopez was born in a California border town, Chula Vista, and is a child of Mexican immigrants. While some accused him of whitewashing himself, others suggested he has only begun emphasizing his cultural heritage.

But there have been a lot of clues to his heritage and times when he wove it into his professional life.

Lopez broke through in Hollywood with his role as Slater in the TV series "Saved By the Bell" and "Saved By the Bell: The College Years." In the later television series, a full episode was dedicated to Slater's Mexican American heritage and his learning that his father's last name was Sanchez and that his father hid it to get into a military academy.

Two years ago, he delved into Latino representation, his culture and his own struggles because of his heritage in Peacock's "True Colors."

But if fans really want to be shocked they should consider this: Lopez turned 50 last month!