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George Lopez privately apologizes to fellow comic Ralph Barbosa after insulting him

A split image of a young man in a gray suit smiling and holding a mic, left, and an older man smiling in a black suit
George Lopez, right, has drawn criticism for remarks he made about fellow comedian Ralph Barbosa.
(Todd Owyoung / NBC; Rich Fury / Invision / AP)
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George Lopez has privately apologized to fellow comedian Ralph Barbosa after a clip of Lopez insulting Barbosa went viral on social media.

In an email to the Los Angeles Times, a representative for Barbosa confirmed Sunday that Lopez “called Ralph personally and they spoke about what happened.”

“George apologized and acknowledged the hard work Ralph has been putting in on the road,” Barbosa’s manager said. “It was a very amicable conversation that Ralph appreciated.”

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On Instagram, Barbosa shared a video earlier this week of Lopez saying, ‘Nobody knows who that motherf— is!’ when asked recently about the rising comic on his podcast, ‘OMG Hi!’ The clip has been making the rounds on the internet along with tweets and videos criticizing Lopez for putting down another Latino comedian.

“It’s all good baby,” Barbosa wrote on Instagram in response to Lopez’s remarks, “the future is now old man.”

The controversial clip is from a Feb. 6 episode of “OMG Hi!” featuring Steve Treviño. During the episode, Treviño speaks about the importance of lifting up new Latinx comics and gives a shout-out to Barbosa — a popular young talent from Texas who has headlined multiple HBO comedy specials and made his “Tonight Show” debut last month.

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After Treviño name-checks Barbosa a couple of times, Lopez exclaims, “Nobody knows who that motherf— is! Why do you keep bringing up his name? Is that wrong to say? ... Have you heard of him? Is it wrong of me to say, ‘Why do you keep bringing his name up when nobody knows who he is?’ ... And I don’t mean it mean, but I’m saying. ... You look out for yourself. Look out for yourself!”

When Treviño insists that he also wants “to look out for others and ... make the path easier” for up-and-coming Latinx entertainers, Lopez replies, “I don’t think that’s the right thing.”

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Soon after the podcast episode aired, Lopez drew widespread criticism for his remarks, while Barbosa received a wave of support.

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“Man George Lopez hating on Ralph Barbosa is a prime example of old heads not respecting new school talent,” tweeted @Justhuge469. “Ralph is literally making a name for himself and he’s funny. You know how many unfunny comedians have sketches on HBO it’s a lot. You gotta put people on!!!”

“George Lopez is a piece of s—,” tweeted @GalloFx. “Latino/a comics have always used stereotypes or used material that we as Latinos/as have been thru, but when he did it it was really to put down our community. Like he said, he’s never cared about anyone but himself. Check out #RalphBarbosa.”

“George Lopez’s remarks about Ralph Barbosa are part of that same toxic mindset that has harmed our Latino communities for generations,” tweeted @MarioATX_MD. “Equally important is our ability to grind for ourselves while recognizing and lifting up those who look like us. This is called growth.”

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Many pointed out that by attempting to dismiss him on a public platform, Lopez inadvertently boosted Barbosa’s name recognition and following.

“Thanks to @georgelopez hating on @ralphbarbosa03 I found me a new fav Latino comedian!” tweeted @iamsikora. “Let’s goooo Ralph Barbosa! Learn his name folks. #comedy #hilarious.”

“George Lopez talkin s— about Ralph Barbosa is about to be the BEST THING that ever happened for Ralph lmao s/o to my Texas Brethren,” tweeted @DendeIsMe.

In the comments section of Barbosa’s Instagram post about the controversy, Treviño wrote, “Wow! Had no idea it was going to blow up like this. Congratulations. You deserve the recognition and so do many others.”

Representatives for Lopez did not immediately respond Sunday to The Times’ requests for comment. See more tweets contributing to the discourse below.

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