Jennifer Lopez Explains Why the Word ‘Diva’ Bothers Her So Much

May 18, 2016, 9:30 PM UTC
American Theatre Wing's 69th Annual Tony Awards
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Jennifer Lopez has zero time for sexism, a point that she made abundantly clear during The Hollywood Reporter‘s actress roundtable, where she discussed sexism, acting, and expectations with a panel that included Kerry Washington, Julianna Margulies, Sarah Paulson, Kirsten Dunst, Regina King, and Constance Zimmer.

The 46-year-old actress and singer addressed the fact that she’s been labeled a “diva” for much of her nearly 30-year career, despite the fact that she’s worked just as hard, if not harder than her male counterparts.

“I’ve always been fascinated by how much more well-behaved we have to be than men,” Lopez 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, and getting that label because you reach a certain amount of success.”

Lopez elaborated that she felt that the industry has a double standard for men and women, especially when it came to voicing her thoughts.

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“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,’” she said. “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. 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?’”