‘Trying to Cash These Checks’: Mario Lopez Takes to Social Media to Defend His Code Switching from His Mexican Accent to ‘Access Hollywood’

Actor and “Access Hollywood” host Mario Lopez has taken to social media to share that he code-switches for mainstream America, after trending on the X platform from people not believing that he is really Mexican.

Mario Lopez
Mario Lopez shouts out a Los Angeles area food truck on TikTok. (Photo: @mariolopez/TikTok)

Fans were surprised by his native accent, as they were accustomed to hearing him speak without it on television.

In the video, speaking with a Mexican accent, Lopez told his followers checking in for Taco Tuesday about his preference for shrimp tostadas with mayonnaise. He even praised the food truck’s shrimp cocktails, adding La Guacamaya hot sauce to his drink and food, exclaiming, “This is fire.”

Despite the videos showing him in his natural element, he addressed his accent on his TikTok.

Initially, the A-lister said he was “racking” his brain to figure out why, and once he read what people were saying he realized they were questioning his ethnicity.

“People don’t think I’m Mexican. Is that a trip … with a name like Mario Lopez?” he said, adding that people think that he is “everything from Italian to Hawaiian.”

“But I’m not; that’s the weirdest thing,” he added.

Watch the Full Video Here.

The 50-year-old host shared that he was born in Chula Vista, a city that was originally part of the Mexican Empire in 1821. Two years later, it became a part of the First Mexican Republic before ultimately becoming an American city in 1848 when California was annexed into the United States following the Mexican–American War.

Lopez also noted he was first-generation American, as his parents are from the actual country of Mexico (Culiacán, Sinaloa, and Tijuana).

The “Saved by the Bell” star said he believes he knows why people are questioning his race now, and it has to do with seeing him in a light they have never seen him before.

“I have been doing these food videos on social with my homies and it’s a lot of Mexican food; I love to eat,” he said in the video, adding, “I’m talking … saying homies, using a lot of like slang and just kind of being yourself.”

He continued, “I can’t be like that on Access Hollywood or my radio show. Trying to cash these checks. I can’t be sounding all hood. I gotta keep it a little more polished and buttoned up, but my whole circle is Mexicano.”

Lopez then panned the camera to show his two Mexican friends.

One person said on the X platform, “No explanation needed, Black People know full well the ‘code switch for the work phone’ voice. I’m not talking to management the same way I talk to my friends.”

Another wrote, “This ain’t the Mario I know,” attached with a GIF of Lopez’s role as A.C. Slater. “Talk about code switching for years cause this the first time I actually feel like I met the real Mario Lopez.”

A third wrote, “He fooled them with the code switch.” Lopez received a handful of remarks from fans who were impressed with his openness, including one who said, “To be fair this is the most Mexican I’ve ever heard you sound!”

“At least he was honest about it. You gotta put a mask on and play the game to get those gigs,” an X user wrote, while someone else teased, “From: que onda foo … to: and we’re back live with Access Hollywood.”

Regardless of what people think about his code-switching, Lopez certainly has learned how to navigate Hollywood as a person of color with ease over his three decades in the industry.

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