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

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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