JLo handled this scary situation like a badass, but it doesn’t make any of it OK
The #MeToo talk may have died down a little bit in Hollywood, but it may be time to revive it after hearing JLo share a story of her own #MeToo situation and seeing the way a table full of other actresses responded.
During an annual actress roundtable hosted by The Hollywood Reporter, JLo joined Lupita Nyong’o, Renée Zellweger, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johansson, and Awkwafina to talk about women’s issues in the industry, and that’s when the Hustlers actress shared her story.
“A director at a fitting asked me to take my top off,” she said.
“I was supposed to do nudity in the movie,” she added, but clarified that this happened at a costume fitting, not while filming.
“He wanted to see my boobs,” she continued. “And I was like, ‘We’re not on set.’ And I said no, I stood up for myself.”
Women everywhere will empathize with what JLo said next, about the panic she felt at the time, even though she found the courage to be able to stand up for herself.
“But it was so funny because I remember being so panicked in the moment. And by the way, there was a costume designer in the room with me,” she said. “So there was another woman in the room and he says this and I said no. Luckily a little bit of the Bronx came out, and I was like, ‘I don’t have to show you my — No. On the set, you see them.'”
At this point, Johansson interjected to add, “Thankfully you were like that though, because not everybody would feel that way.”
JLo responded, “That’s the thing, because you give in in that moment and all of a sudden, that person’s off and running, thinking they can do whatever they want. Because I put up a little boundary right there and said no, he laid off and then later on apologized. The minute he walked out of the room the costume designer was like, ‘Oh I’m so sorry that just happened.'”
While this is ultimately a story of a woman who stood up for herself and was able to keep herself safe, that’s not how this situation would have gone for just any woman. And the reactions of the other women around the table? The way they laugh and crack jokes about this will be relatable to women everywhere, because we do laugh in the face of this kind of stuff just so we won’t cry, but it’s a little bit heartbreaking, too.