The "Hustlers" star, 50, sat down with fellow actresses Renée Zellweger, Laura Dern, Lupita Nyong'o, Awkwafina and Scarlett Johansson during The Hollywood Reporter's annual actress roundtable to discuss how the entertainment industry is evolving.
"We've stood up and said, 'Hey, we don't want this to be going on and it's been going on a long time and it's enough,'' Lopez said, crediting the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
She recalled an uncomfortable situation earlier in her career when a "director at a fitting asked me to take my top off." Johansson quickly interjected, "To see what?"
The unidentified director "wanted to see my boobs," Lopez said, "because I was supposed to do nudity in the movie." She explained that the incident happened off set.
"I said no. I stood up for myself," Lopez continued. "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. 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.' "
"Thankfully you were like that though," said Johansson. "Because not everyone would feel that way."
Lopez noted that if she succumbed to the pressure, the harassment likely wouldn't have stopped: "If you give in, in that moment, all of a sudden that person is off and running, thinking they can do whatever they want. And because I put up a little boundary right there and said no, he laid off and then later on apologized."
"Luckily a little bit of the Bronx came out." #Hustlers star @JLo recalls a moment early on in her career when a director asked her to take her top off at a fitting https://t.co/QxCK7Tm71w #THRRoundtable pic.twitter.com/nxurj7daBs— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 13, 2019
Despite Johansson's inquiry ("Oh my God, who was it?!"), Lopez didn't reveal the director's identity or the project she was working on when it happened.
"That is crazy," Johansson said. Lopez added, "Well, he was crazy."
But the lesson, Lopez said, is simple. "It's never OK to feel uncomfortable."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jennifer Lopez shares her #MeToo experience: 'I stood up for myself'