Jennifer Lopez Addresses Sexism in Hollywood, Being Branded a Diva: ‘Am I Difficult Because I Care?’

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez The Hollywood Reporter

Oh, she is real. Jennifer Lopez discussed sexism in Hollywood and being branded a diva during a recent TV actresses roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter, which included Kerry Washington, Sarah Paulson, Julianna Margulies, Kirsten Dunst and more.

"I've always been fascinated by how much more well-behaved we have to be than men," said Lopez, 46, who currently stars on NBC's Shades of Blue. "I got a moniker of being 'the diva,' which I never felt I deserved — which I don't deserve — because I've always been a hard worker, on time, doing what I'm supposed to do, and getting that label because you reach a certain amount of success."

American Horror Story star Paulson, 41, chimed in, "And you care about something enough to give your opinion."

Lopez replied, "Sometimes I felt crippled to voice my opinion. Especially because certain directors and the boys' club that they form can make you feel like, 'Oh, I can't say anything.'"

The actress and musician also cited instances when men were given preferential treatment over women. "I was always fascinated by how I could see [a man] being late or being belligerent to a crew and it being totally acceptable," the Wedding Planner star shared. "Meanwhile, I'd show up 15 minutes late and be berated. And you watch this happen over and over and over again. Like, we're not allowed to have certain opinions or even be passionate about something, or they'll be like, 'God, she's really difficult.' It's like, 'Am I? Am I difficult because I care?'"

Lopez and her fellow stars also tackled another big topic during the interview: nudity. The Selena actress said her interest in stripping on screen has waned ever since she welcomed her 8-year-old twins, Max and Emme, with ex-husband Marc Anthony

"In videos and things that I do, I'm very sexy and wear little clothes," the "Ain't Your Mama" singer acknowledged. "But the truth is, when it comes to acting, I did it earlier in my career and now I just don't feel sometimes that you have to do it. I've changed in that sense."

Good Wife alum Margulies, 49, offered up a different opinion. "It depends on the character you're playing. I've been playing the same character for seven seasons, and all of a sudden this season the girl is taking her clothes off," she said. "I'm seven years older than I was when I started it, and I love it. I mean, it's CBS, so there's only so much you can take off, but there's something great about seeing a woman in her 40s having sex with someone and not being inhibited. … But my point is just that when you dive into a character and it's for what they're going through, you don't think about that. I wouldn't have given a second thought if it had been HBO. We had a hilarious moment where they were like, 'Actually, you have to pull the sheet over your ass because the camera is up here.' I wasn't even aware that my ass was sticking out. I apologized to the crew profusely."

Scandal heroine Washington, 39, said it's a case-by-case scenario. "Part of it for me is the director and the producers and that trust," the ABC actress reflected. "There have been times in my career where the nudity wasn't about the story, it wasn't about the character, it was just because that s–t sells."

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