Jennifer Lopez Has Made Some Controversial Decisions

The world was first introduced to Jennifer Lopez on the comedy sketch show, In Living Color, in 1991. Performing as a backup dancer, she remained on the series for two years. It was her breakout role as Selena Quintanilla in 1997's Selena, however, that put the Latina multi-talent on the map as a bonafide superstar. And after over two decades of being in the spotlight, J.Lo has proven her career has withstood the test of time.

So, how has Lopez managed to remain so relevant? It could have something to do with the busy music and movie schedule she's always maintained. On top of that, add Lopez's clothing lines, fragrances, and numerous television appearances into the mix. With her net worth approximated to be at a whopping $400 million as of this writing in 2019, the so-called "Jenny from the Block" is doing just fine.

However, being in the public eye for so long can come with its own set of grievances. "You know, it's hard for me to talk about my personal life," the Bronx native once told Rolling Stone. "No matter what I say, it's never exactly what I wish I would have said." After years of headlining the tabs, here are some of J.Lo's most controversial decisions.

Jennifer Lopez ... the Motown singer?

Jennifer Lopez stunned viewers when she performed during the 2019 Grammy Awards 2019. With the internet abuzz, some commenters were in disbelief that the music starlet was turning 50 that same year, while others took a focus on something else. Mainly, that the Latina singer was performing a Motown dance tribute. 

So, why all the backlash? Simply put, Lopez isn't a Motown singer. As viewers took to their social media channels to express their distaste at both J.Lo and the Grammys for picking her during Black History Month, the "Papi" crooner didn't regret the performance. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, she explained that the tribute was also for her mother, who played all the songs for her growing up: "I could cry ... It's just a dream come true ... Singing up there with Smokey Robinson, like, I gotta pinch myself." As for what Lopez thought of the haters? "Any type of music can inspire any type of artist," she said. "You can't tell people what to love."

Eventually, it was up to Smokey Robinson himself to defend Lopez. "I don't think anyone who is intelligent is upset," the Motown legend told Variety, adding, "Motown was music for everybody. Everybody."

The controversial dress that sparked a million searches

When J.Lo wore that green Versace dress to the 2000 Grammy Awards, she instantly became a part of pop culture history. So, what made the dress so controversial? As MTV News put it at the time, "That sound you heard when Jennifer Lopez came out on the stage ... was a thousand male tongues hitting the floor."

Almost two decades later, Lopez spoke to Vogue about being cautioned against wearing the dress. "Andrea [Lieberman] my stylist was like 'No! You can't wear that,' and I was like, 'Why did you bring it then?'" As it turned out, Lieberman revealed that it wouldn't be a good move for Lopez, because it had been worn before by multiple stars already. Nevertheless, J.Lo was set on the jungle-inspired number.

In September 2019, Lopez put the dress on one more time to walk down the Versace runway during Milan Fashion Week. Naturally, fans went wild. Apart from it almost being 20 years since the original dress made its debut, why else would Versace decide to pay homage to it again? Well, it made internet history. According to an essay written by the executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, on Project Syndicate, "At the time, it was the most popular search query we had ever seen. But we had no surefire way of getting users exactly what they wanted: J.Lo wearing that dress." The result? Creating the Google Image Search.

Jennifer Lopez's supposed Canadian fling

Before her PDA-filled relationship with Alex Rodriguez began, Jennifer Lopez apparently had a fling with Canadian rapper Drake in late 2016 and early 2017. After a bunch of speculation due to their sudden flirtatious online posts together, the duo decided to make it very clear something was going on when J.Lo uploaded a photo of the pair cuddling to her Instagram page. Hmm.

While nothing was ever flat-out confirmed, her "friendship" with the rapper certainly angered some people — supposedly including Drake's on-again-off-again love interest and J.Lo's friend, Rihanna. Speaking to In Touch, an insider close to RiRi dished, "Rihanna and Jennifer used to be good friends. She's even confided in J.Lo about her rocky relationship with Drake over the years. Rihanna is very hurt," adding that she reportedly thought Lopez was "desperate" and "a traitor." In an apparent pièce de résistance, RiRi unfollowed J.Lo on Instagram. Burn. 

After the dust settled, none of the key players ever publicly spoke out about anything. However, Drake did rap about his supposed fling on the track "Free Smoke," with the lyrics, "I drunk text J.Lo / Old number, so it bounce back." Her rebuttal? Per People, Lopez started playing Drake's "Hotline Bling" mid-performance during her Las Vegas residency, then paused and quipped, "Huh, booty call," followed by a hair flip.

The time J.Lo decided she still has it

When Jennifer Lopez hit the scene decades ago, she was a total sensation. Ricky T. Gallardo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer put it perfectly back in 2001, noting that the starlet had the "confirmed status as an international superstar and sex symbol."

Now that she's older, her decision to still star in provocative music videos has unfortunately been met with some public backlash — especially her 2014 music video for "Booty" alongside Iggy Azalea. In an interview with Marie Claire, J.Lo explained, "I wanted it to be beautiful and sexy, not sexy and raunchy. Sometimes when you're younger, you go for raunch, or shock value, but I don't need to do that."

Clearly, people were still talking about it, since the songstress felt she had to reiterate her sentiment in an interview with Complex in 2015. "I'm not allowed to be sexy because I'm a mom?" she rhetorically asked, before speaking about being a role model to her kids: "The truth is I don't want to do anything that they would be embarrassed of in the long run ... And I'm not saying that one day they may not be like, 'Mom! Why did you do that?!' But I don't think that in 10 years I'm going to be doing that either."

Is there anyone Jennifer Lopez won't perform for?

There's no denying Jennifer Lopez is a global sensation. Carrying as much weight as she has throughout the years has even landed the starlet on lists such as Forbes' Most Powerful Women in 2012, and Time magazine's Most Influential People of 2018. So, with all eyes and ears on her, why has the Bronx native sparked significant backlash within human rights groups? 

It turns out, Lopez's controversial decisions to perform for a variety of different "fans" who pay her generously hasn't boded that well with everybody. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it's J.Lo's performance for the Turkmenistan president that caused the Human Rights Foundation to do a bit more digging. The result? They found out the singer has reportedly performed for "at least" three other questionable audiences, mainly "crooks and dictators" from "Russia and a number of former Soviet republics."

Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen has had no problem speaking to the press about his discontent with the "Let's Get Loud" crooner's controversial gigs. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Halvorssen dished in a statement in 2013, "J.Lo has repeatedly mingled with and entertained some of the world's worst thugs and their cronies. The 'Jenny-from-the-block-who-doesn't-Google' clarification may be credible in one instance, but it beggars belief in light of a pattern of repeated behavior." As it turns out, her singing does cost a thing. 

The controversial timing of J.Lo's Marc Anthony romance

Jennifer Lopez's high-profile relationship with Marc Anthony was legendary in the early noughties. As Jonathan Borge of Oprah Magazine put it, the two were "an untouchable Hollywood couple that captured a particular moment in our pop-culture lexicon."

Their beginnings as a couple, however, was met with its fair share of controversy — mainly because Anthony was still technically married to someone else. Per People, the two crooners were actually linked together years prior when they "dated briefly." Unfortunately, things didn't work out that first time around, so the "Vivir Mi Vida" singer wed former Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres, in a surprise wedding in Las Vegas — that he planned just a day in advance. 

Perhaps Anthony should have put more thought into who he was going to marry, since he jumped ship after only four years and was already seen out and about with Lopez before he officially divorced his wife. Ultimately breaking Torres' heart, the former beauty queen told People, "You go through hell. I cried until there were no tears left — until I was numb. I didn't want to eat; I didn't care to get dressed or take a shower. I just wanted to lie there." As for Lopez? She married Anthony the same year as his divorce from Torres. Her reputation, on the other hand, certainly took a hit, as some would go to view her as a Hollywood homewrecker.

Does Jenny even help out her old block?

Most people that aren't even J.Lo listeners know her song, "Jenny from the Block," in which she pays tribute to growing up in the Bronx. In fact, the singer even titled her debut album On the 6 — a clear homage to the New York subway train. According to the book Latin Sensations by Herón Márquez, Lopez once said, "I used to take the No. 6 train downtown from the Bronx ... I am still the same girl who grew up in the Bronx ... with my head full of limitless dreams." 

However, now that Lopez is a worldwide sensation, some think she's forgotten about her roots. As the principal at her alma mater, Claire La Tempa, claimed to the New York Daily News, "When Jennifer became famous, I asked Lupe [her mom] if Jennifer could donate a scholarship in her name, and Lupe just said, 'Uh-uh! That's her money and that's it.'"

Another alleged instance in 2011 was even worse. Per The Smoking Gun, Lopez was set to star in a commercial for Fiat that would see her driving around her old neighborhood. A press release at the time stated that Lopez would be "[traveling] through the streets of Manhattan to the Bronx where she grew up." The issue, however? She never actually stepped foot in the Bronx for the ad — and used a body double. Naturally, the stint was met with complete contention, with even Anderson Cooper making fun of her.

Dating Ben Affleck and co-starring in the ill-fated Gigli

Jennifer Lopez's early 2000s relationship with Ben Affleck was highly scrutinized by the paps from the get-go. It's something even she was aware of herself, taking a stab at the press when she released the "Jenny from the Block" music video, starring herself and her then-beau and filled with paparazzi-esque shots of each other. The video was so brazen, in fact, that years later, Affleck would say that starring in it nearly ruined his career. Um, ouch?

Their whirlwind of a romance began while J.Lo was still married to Cris Judd — with Affleck apparently courting her. The actor even took out an ad in The Hollywood Reporter (via The New York Times), gushing about Lopez while her divorce wasn't yet finalized. Soon enough, Bennifer's every move was documented. As Lopez revealed to People years later in 2016, "We just happened to be together at the birth of the tabloids, and it was like, 'Oh my God.' It was just a lot of pressure. I think different time, different thing, who knows what could've happened? But there was a genuine love there."

While the unconventional beginnings of their relationship may have raised some eyebrows, it was starring in a total box office flop, 2003's Gigli, together that was the most controversial, as it quickly became one of the most hated movies of its time.

The interview that almost derailed Jennifer Lopez's career

By now, everyone knows that Jennifer Lopez can be outspoken. A 1998 interview with the very young starlet, however, proved to be so controversial, it's surprising it totally didn't ruin her career

Speaking to Movieline, the actress-turned-singer started off the chat with a bang. When asked about her rising star power, J.Lo immediately quipped, "Because I'm the best." It then got worse. The Hustlers actress apparently decided to trash her fellow actresses, saying that Cameron Diaz "can be good" when she's directed, that she didn't even know what Gwyneth Paltrow had been in, and that she laughed when Salma Hayek "[said] she got offered Selena, which was an outright lie." Yeah, it was that bad. 

A few years later, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Lopez tried to set the record straight: "I was so misquoted and so taken out of context ... I don't like to hurt anybody ... [After reading it] I just sat down and cried for hours." It clearly still stung after two decades had passed, as she told NPR (via KUNC) in 2018, "It gave me a lot of notoriety in the moment, and then it made a lot of people in the industry really pissed off." 

The time J.Lo ended up in jail with Diddy

Many people don't know that J.Lo actually has a mug shot — from a night out in the late '90s. According to the Daily Mail, Lopez found herself in a New York nightclub in 1999 with her then-boyfriend, Diddy, when all of a sudden, he reportedly bumped someone and accidentally spilled his drink. As prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos told a Manhattan Supreme Court jury, "The man taunted Combs about his wealth and after some arguing, somebody threw cash at Combs as an insult." As total bedlam reportedly broke out, with people lunging for the fallen cash, "rap protege" Jamal 'Shyne' Barrow then "drew a semi-automatic handgun and opened fire at the man, but instead shot and wounded three bystanders." According to witnesses, Diddy allegedly fired, too. He then reportedly grabbed Lopez, and the two fled the scene, ultimately getting pulled over by the police, who found a loaded gun. 

As revealed by the New York Daily News, the couple was arrested, and Lopez sat handcuffed to a bench for 14 hours. As a police officer told the site, "She was crying all over the place ... She was just upset about the whole thing." 

Nowadays, J.Lo doesn't speak about the incident often. Still, the Selena starlet did offer some insight in an interview with Rolling Stone a couple years later. "It was an unfortunate situation," she explained. "We were somewhere we shouldn't have been. It was a bad situation."

When Jennifer Lopez dropped the N-word

When J.Lo's "I'm Real (Murder Remix)" featuring Ja Rule came out in 2001, it was an instant hit. In fact, in 2011, Billboard gave it the sixth spot on its "40 Biggest Duets of All Time" list. Of course, with its success also came backlash — since the starlet chose to drop the N-word in her lyrics.

While many fans were left scratching their heads at how such a decision could be made by a Latina pop star, it turns out the track was actually written by Ja Rule himself. Per the New York Daily News, there were a lot of upset listeners, in particular two radio DJs, Star and Buckwild. As Star told the publication, "I'm sure a lot of young Spanish kids use the N-word, but when you reach her level — a level where you have a platform — why is she using a word that's derogatory to blacks?"

Meanwhile, Lopez defended herself. "For anyone to think or suggest that I'm racist is really absurd and hateful to me," she told The Associated Press (via ABC News). As for Ja Rule, he immediately backed the pop star. "I think it's silly," he told MTV News. "I think the whole thing, like everything else, is being blown out of proportion. She's not the first Latino to use that word ... it's just that she's a very high-profile star and it's something to let people get a chance to poke at her." 

Was dating a controversial decision for Jennifer Lopez or Alex Rodriguez?

To the general public, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez seem like a couple totally lost in the honeymoon phase — especially since announcing their engagement in March 2019. In fact, it appears their whole relationship is a long time coming! MLB Network's Intentional Talk Twitter page unearthed an old 1998 clip of the baseball legend admitting his dream date would be with the diva starlet. Lo and behold years later, his wish came true. 

We're hoping their puppy love is evident behind closed doors too, as a strange rumor has been swirling around, courtesy of Radar Online. As an insider dished to the goss site in 2017, Lopez allegedly had "a long list of rules on maintaining her high standards" when they first started dating, causing her beau to feel "terrified" of her. Uh, what? "She's also given him an approved wardrobe list," the source went on to claim. 

While this would obviously intimidate some people, A-Rod is clearly smitten. Speaking to Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain (via the Daily Mail) in 2018, Rodriguez admitted that he was worried his "time will run out" with Lopez and she'll dump him. Considering the duo won't quit with the PDA, it looks like this hot piece of goss may just be hearsay.