A few weeks ago, we told you about the “beef” between Rosie Perez and Jennifer Lopez. Turns out we may have gotten the story a bit twisted. While it’s true that Perez and Lopez did get into it two decades ago, Rosie told Piers Morgan that today, there’s no bad blood between she and J Lo.
“I don’t hate Jennifer Lopez. I have great respect for her. When I first saw her, I knew she was going to be a star. Yes, we had a tiff and it was 20 years ago. It’s unfortunate that the tabloids try to portray it as something that is current. I’ve moved on, and I’m sure she has also. We’re grown women. And it’s really disgusting to me that the media tried to pit two Latinas against each other. It’s just so difficult, and so hard, to make it in this industry, especially if you’re a person of color. And for them to do that was really shameful.”
Ok Rosie we hear you. Old stuff. So by now I’m sure you’re wondering why did she even bring her up then? It was all a part of the greater message, of her learning to deal with her anger issues.
“I don’t only talk about her. I talk about how I was rude to Jamie Foxx, how I was rude to Spike Lee, how I was rude to Don Cornelius. I hit the poor man in the head–in his forehead– with a chicken wing. And it was all because I didn’t know how to articulate my anger.”
By the time she was 8 years old, Rosie was sent to live at a group home and came into contact with some characters. She learned to develop a tough exterior to cope with her new surroundings and the people there. Unfortunately, took that attitude with her even after she’d left that environment.
“One of the counselors in the group home, this wonderful man, his name is Nigel Johnson. One day he told me when I was leaving the group home, he said, ‘Life dealt you a shitty hand.'” I went ‘Gee thanks for the encouragement. And good life to you too’ Then he says, ‘But you can always ask for new cards.’ And I said, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘You’re going to figure it out when you get tired of holding that hand.”
Valuable lesson for Rosie and for us. It is a shame that the media focused on an old argument rather than the healing Rosie had to find in her own life. Though we received this information about this alleged feud from another source, and didn’t have access to the book ourselves, we share in some of the responsibility in reporting that the tension between the two was still present.
The other lesson here is that mainstream media really doesn’t care about a Latina woman disrespecting a black man. The story about Rosie Perez “beefing” with Jennifer Lopez, who is heavily recognizable in mainstream media, is far more juicy.
Now that you understand what Rosie is really trying to articulate in her book and her various interactions with other celebrities, are you more likely to pick it up? Why do you think the media was so quick to paint this story as though it was a current issue?
You can watch this clip from her Piers Morgan interview in the video below.