Jennifer Lopez on TV Diversity: ‘A Show’s Characters Need to Reflect Today’s Society’

Jennifer Lopez Marriage Equality
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Actress and entertainer Jennifer Lopez is the executive producer of “The Fosters,” an ABC Family series that bowed in 2013. The show features a biracial lesbian couple who have opened their home to multicultural foster children. Last year, Lopez was a Variety Power of Women honoree for her work with the Lopez Family Foundation, which raises money for children’s healthcare. In 2012, Forbes said Lopez “may be the most powerful entertainer on the planet,” and she works to break down barriers of gender, race and ethnicity. She took time from shooting NBC’s upcoming series “Shades of Blue” to speak with Variety.

Why did you commit to “The Fosters”?

When I was growing up, the families around me were not reflected in television or film. I wanted to be part of “The Fosters” because of the show’s depiction of a diverse society. While our family compositions might differ, ultimately the experiences of a family are universal, and I’m proud to be part of a show that reminds us that regardless of skin color or sexual orientation, we can all identify with one another.

What is the media’s responsibility going forward — to any minority?

I can speak to a producer’s responsibility, which is to create a compelling story with interesting and diverse characters. It’s important to make sure the characters are a true reflection of our society. This includes diversity across race and gender — which we’re finally seeing a shift toward in television and film.

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  1. Nancy Martinez says:

    Yet somehow the main characters are white and the few Latino characters seem to be ashamed of their culture, don’t date Latino people, and their only Latino adults are a bad influence. While this show is better than most mainstream shows, it still falls short of what I would expect for a show that’s gonna try to represent the Latino population.

  2. I don’t think she has a clue of what she’s talking about. Latino/a have always been represented whether it’s in films or in tv sitcoms. They’ve never had a problem. If she wants their to be more hispanics than that’s an entirely different ball of wax. That’s not diversity. That’s using the term as to deflect your own racism. Since Blacks have been hyping up the fight for equality I’ve noticed that a lot of latins have been taking bits and pieces of it, mixing it with their racist ideologies (and those in Cali have been experiencing it personally) and claiming a story that belongs to Blacks as if it’s their own. Rosie Perez was the only one who spoke truthfully about this on the View.

  3. DougW says:

    In terms of reflecting society, this series has gotten to the point where it over-represents minorities. Last night’s episode had 4 interracial couples with a 5th developing, 2 gay couples and a date where the guy was transgender.

  4. anna says:

    I love this show.. after adopting 8 children and being a same-sex family.. it is nice that my children can identify with a show that is real..

  5. Lee says:

    Have to disagree wholeheartedly Jennifer Lopez. However this is the degenerate material that comes out of Hollywood these days. Nothing that a family can watch.

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