Jennifer Lopez has left something of a diva streak in her wake as she’s made her way through the entertainment industry, but it’s a reputation she says she hasn’t earned.
The 46-year-old singer and leading lady took part in the Hollywood Reporter’s actress roundtable, using her portion of the platform to knock on Tinseltown’s good ol’ boys’ club. It’s that culture which makes it difficult for women to break through the industry without developing an unsavory reputation in the public’s eye, according to J. Lo.
“I’ve always been fascinated by how much more well-behaved we have to be than men,” she said. “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.”
It’s unfortunate that success and diva-hood are inseparable for women in the industry, she added, addressing fellow actresses Kirsten Dunst, Kerry Washington, Julianna Margulies, Sarah Paulson, Regina King, and Constance Zimmer.
J. Lo lamented the fact that people all-too-commonly confuse an actress’s passion and zeal for someone who is difficult to work with. She explained that she is always careful not to let the two mingle, and that she has never seen herself as an overbearing person.
She capped her comments by arguing that the entertainment industry operates on an underlying double standard, where her male counterparts can be the real divas without ever developing a poor reputation.
“I was always fascinated by how I could see [a man] being late or being belligerent to a crew and it being totally acceptable; meanwhile, I’d show up 15 minutes late and be berated.”
But some sources dispute J. Lo’s claims that she is undeserving of the diva moniker. One such document, the rider checklist for a 2011 benefit concert, show that she regularly makes extensive and specific demands before agreeing to a performance.
The document shows that Jennifer Lopez would have considered it a deal-breaker if there were grape juice in or around her dressing room.
Still, her co-stars during the Hollywood Reporter roundtable seemed on her side of the issue, with Margulies pointing out that sexism runs rampant through Hollywood, and doesn’t necessarily end with the talent.
At the end of the day, though, it’s often up to women in the industry to step up and be the bigger person, according to Margulies.