Entertainer Jennifer Lopez has revealed that the new lesbian family drama series she’s producing, The Fosters, was inspired by her late lesbian aunt.
“I had an aunt who was gay. I lived with her and I loved her. She just passed away from cancer,” said Lopez in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“I thought of her often when I was thinking about taking on this project and the prejudices that she faced. She was so, so much a part of my life…
“She didn’t have her own family… and I often wonder if she wanted it,” said Lopez, who is the executive producer for the show and is rumoured to also appear in the series.
She said that the show is “a little bit of an homage to her… I think she’d be really proud of me,” Lopez added, becoming teary-eyed.
The Fosters is centred on a lesbian couple raising a mixed-race family of both biological and foster kids. The series was created by Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige (who played Emmett Honeycutt in the hit series Queer as Folk).
Teri Polo (Meet the Parents, The West Wing) plays police officer Stef Foster and Sherri Saum (In Treatment, Sunset Beach) stars as school principal Lena Foster; the two moms in the show.
“Although [the script] was about a non-traditional family and had some newer themes, it had some really basic themes as well about family and love and what’s really important in life,” said Lopez. “And life can be complicated and messy sometimes and not simple. It was really a true depiction of family in this day and age.”
In another interview about the show with Extra, Lopez also spoke on the issue of same-sex marriage.
“Gay marriage is becoming legal now in so many places, and there’s a controversy surrounding it, but at the end of the day, it does exist. And to keep pretending that it doesn’t is really, I feel, is irresponsible because there are children who do grow up in these families and you don’t want them feeling weird, or like they’re not normal or have inferiority complexes, or anything like that. You want them to know that as long as they are surrounded by love – that’s the most important thing.”
The Fosters became the target of an anti-gay campaign by conservative lobby group One Million Moms even before it saw the light of day.
In September last year, on news of the show’s development, the group said that ABC Family had “lost their minds” by backing the concept and threatened to stop its production.
“Hollywood is continuing to push an agenda that homosexuality is acceptable when scripture states clearly it is a sin,” the organisation ranted.
The Fosters is set to debut on June 3 in the US on the ABC Family channel.
Watch a portion of the interview with Entertainment Tonight, in which Lopez talks about her lesbian aunt, below.