Jenifer Lopez Almost Quit Hollywood In The 2000s Due To Intense Media Scrutiny

“It was hard when you think people think you're a joke. Like you're a punchline.”

Jennifer Lopez’s new Netflix documentary Halftime offers a candid look at the multi-hyphenated musician’s life.

One of the biggest revelations from the film, which chronicles her almost 30-year-career while she prepared for her blockbuster Super Bowl halftime performance, is Lopez’s emotional recounting of the time she almost quit Hollywood for good.

Lopez’s rise to mainstream success was one that, as she describes, was “overshadowed” by “the media’s appetite to cover my personal life”.

Lopez recounts the media’s coverage of her relationship with Ben Affleck and their critique of her body led her to having “really low self esteem” and almost forced her to leave the limelight all together.

“There were many times where I was like I think I’m just going to quit,” she said. “I had to really figure out who I was and believe in that and not believe anything else.”

Affleck, who Lopez was engaged to in the early 2000s before breaking up and rekindling in 2021, also commented on the intense media scrutiny their relationship received.

“I said to her once, ‘doesn’t this bother you?’ and she said, ‘I’m Latina, I expected this. You just don’t expect it, you expect to be treated fairly’,” he explained.

Jennifer Lopez at the ‘Halftime’ premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.

With Lopez known for her trailblazing work to uplift the Hispanic community in Hollywood, including pioneering the mainstream success of Latin-pop in America, the star also touched on what it was like to fight against outdated beauty standards that the tabloids would hold her too.

“When I started working, the beauty ideal was very thin, blonde, tall, not a lot of curves,” she said. “It was hard when you think people think you’re a joke. Like you’re a punchline. But I wound up affecting things in a way that I never intended to affect them.”

“I believed a lot of what they said, which is that I wasn’t really good,” Lopez added.

The documentary also shines a light on how Lopez now approaches dealing with the trials and tribulations of the entertainment industry. 

“I’m going to be unafraid to get loud and use my voice in the best way that I can,” the star said.

Halftime is available to stream on Netflix. If this film has piqued your interest, then head here for our roundup of the best documentaries to watch.

Related stories