Jennifer Lopez on Being Labeled a "Diva," Facing Sexism in the Industry

"I've always been fascinated by how much more well behaved we have to be than men," says Lopez. "We are not allowed to have certain opinions or be a certain way, or be passionate."

Superstar Jennifer Lopez made a daring move this year to return to television with NBC’s Shades of Blue, on which she also serves as executive producer. Lopez told The Hollywood Reporter during the Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable that signing on to the show “was a big consideration.”

“I had a lot of things going on at the time, and I’m a mom, so I felt like taking this on, I already had two full-time jobs and I was taking on a third full-time job," she said.

Ultimately, the choice came down to what she wanted to create for herself as an actress. “I hadn’t seen anything in a long time where I felt like I was really doing something acting-wise. There’s nothing film-wise that’s as exciting as this for me as an artist and as an actress, so you know … f— it,” Lopez laughed, before asking if cursing was allowed (it is).

Lopez also spoke to the sexism she has experienced in the entertainment industry, saying that she has been labeled a “diva" and arguing that women are given that label upon “reaching a certain amount of success.” 

"I've always been fascinated by how much more well behaved we have to be than men," she said. "I did get a moniker of being a diva, which I don't deserve."

Despite her star influence, Lopez said she still feels “sometimes crippled to voice [her] opinion,” due to the industry’s boys club. “We [as women] are not allowed to have certain opinions or be a certain way, or be passionate.”

More roundtables featuring comedy actresses, comedy and drama actors and reality hosts and producers will roll out throughout June in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter starting June 26 on SundanceTV. And look for clips at THR.com/roundtables starting May 16, with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.

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