Television is on the path to finally embracing diversity, and Jennifer Lopez and America Ferrera are applauding it.
"It's been coming for many years," Lopez, promoting her new NBC police drama "Shades of Blue," told a TV critics' meeting Wednesday. "There's no denying what society is right now. It's not just race, it's gender, it's all kind of diversity being showcased."
According to The Guardian, she added: “Television has always been great at reflecting society since way back – and pushing the boundaries of what’s happening in life. I think it’s no different right now.”
Ferrera, who stars in NBC's freshman comedy "Superstore," lauded the inclusiveness of her show, in particular, and NBC in general.
"This is the first time I've been offered a role that wasn't written" for a Latino, the former "Ugly Betty" star said at a separate Q&A session with reporters.
She was struck by the fact that the pilot script for "Superstore" didn't specify races for the series' other characters as well, she said. Her co-stars include Nico Santos, a native of the Philippines, and Colton Dunn, who is African-American.
Ferrera, who has not had a regular role in a series since ABC ended “Ugly Betty” in 2010, said she was surprised that the show did not represent a “watershed moment” for Latinos on television.
“We went off the air, and it was years until you saw another Latino [on television],” she said, according to The Guardian. “When it comes to diversity and breaking stereotypes, and finding opportunities for non-white actors, progress gets made in these individual steps – and we should celebrate them and reward them, especially when they’re successful.”
She continued: “But I do think it’s important to kind of also acknowledge that we have successes that don’t necessarily end up in up watershed moments for diversity on television.”
Ferrera said diversity on the small screen is not “just about Latinos.
”It’s about Asian representation, African American representation. The more we talk about it, and the more about how it’s succeeding and of people being hungry to seeing stories like this, I think will encourage other networks to enrich their storytelling by reflecting the world that we actually live in,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.