Jennifer Lopez says Latinos in the United States are starting to realize their power in politics and media, and that makes the timing good for her latest undertaking: Lobbying for greater diversity in TV programming.
"There's a big revolution going on, it's like a media and cultural revolution of Latinos here in the United States," she said. "We're realizing our power. We're realizing that we matter here. We're not just the guys working behind the scenes in the kitchens and as a plumber."
The actress-singer-dancer said these are exciting times across the board for Latinos.
"We really have influence. We're really growing as a community and we've come into a place where we deserve to be considered and served and catered to and that's an exciting thing for Latinos right now."
Lopez was meeting later Wednesday with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the National Council of La Raza and Senators Harry Reid and Bob Menendez.
She said businesses are getting on board because of the tremendous buying power of Latinos, which is why she is also the creative chief officer of the Viva Movil brand for Verizon. The entertainer is opening a chain of 15 cell phone stores with bilingual staffers starting this month to cater to the Hispanic market.
The entertainer spoke Wednesday at the Cable Show, a communications convention, ahead of new programming set to launch July 18 on the NUVOtv network. Lopez serves as chief creative officer of the English-language Latino channel.
"It's an extension of who I am as an artist," she said about her new role in an interview with the Associated Press. "As I grow in this business, I've been in the business close to 20 years now, that creative spark that you have doesn't go away. It keeps growing almost."
Lopez said working behind the scenes is just— if not more— rewarding than performing.
"Singing and acting and dancing and performing live, it's always going to be my passion," she said. "But at the end of the day when you're given the opportunities to be more creative, to create things more from the ground up, to really, really do things like NUVO, which is, really for me empowering a community that means so much to me."
She added, "It feels bigger than me. It feels bigger than just a television show. It's something that can change the world, the face of television, the way people feel about themselves, how they're inspired, what they aspire to do and to be."
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