Jennifer Lopez is weighing in on the #MeToo movement, speaking out about the time that a director asked her to take off her shirt while she was starting her career.
In a Harper’s Bazaar profile, Lopez discussed her career, as well as her on-going support for the Time’s Up and #MeToo movement.
When asked about how it’s affected her personally, she said, “I haven’t been abused in the way some women have. But have I been told by a director to take off my shirt and show my boobs? Yes, I have. But did I do it? No, I did not.”
It’s a testament to just how insensitive the entertainment industry work environments are that this harassment is considered one of the “lesser” forms of abuse.
Like many of other #MeToo stories, Lopez said standing up for herself was a huge career risk. Especially for a young, unestablished actresses, who are the most vulnerable to this abuse.
“When I did speak up, I was terrified. I remember my heart beating out of my chest, thinking, ‘What did I do? This man is hiring me!’ It was one of my first movies. But in my mind I knew the behavior wasn’t right. It could have gone either way for me. But I think ultimately the Bronx in me was like, ‘Nah, we’re not having it.'”
JLO has not only been an outspoken supporter of #MeToo since the beginning, but also an activist for vulnerable and mistreated people outside of Hollywood.
When hurricane Irma left Puerto Rico in dire need of disaster relief, Lopez helped in a big way. Aside from donating $1 million to efforts to rebuild Puerto Rico, she gave a speech demonstrating how these two battles are about the same thing: advocating for everyone’s inalienable human rights.
Lopez gave a speech while in Puerto Rico, and wearing black in solidarity with the Time’s Up red carpet protests.
“A lot of the women with #TimesUp are standing up for equality, to be treated equally,” she said. “And I stand here today in black, doing the same from far away. And it’s the same thing here in Puerto Rico: We want to be treated equally.”