Baby's Got Backlash: JLo's Bronx Love Letter Fiat Ad Deemed Fakery
Uh oh: Jennifer Lopez's street cred (eye roll) is totally in peril. The singer-actress-pitchgal is being criticized for filming her homage to her hometurf, the Bronx, on the smooth streets of Beverly Hills in her latest TV ad for Fiat.
You've probably seen the ad--it's in heavy rotation. E!Online explains: "Here, this is my world," she says in voiceover as she's shown behind the steering wheel, dreamily gazing out at the stereotypical Bronx scenes passing by. "This place inspires me to be tougher, to stay sharper, to think faster. They may be just streets to you, but to me, they're a playground."
Only, uh, not so much: Lopez didn't set foot--or tire tread--on those Bronx blocks.
Instead, the role of “Jenny from the Block” was played by a body double, according to two sources familiar with the commercial production. While the Lopez lookalike was actually behind the wheel in the Bronx, Lopez herself was in Los Angeles, where she was filmed inside a Fiat 500. The shots of the actress were artfully merged to make it appear that she was tooling around New York City’s poorest borough. Big Block, a Los Angeles digital production studio, was hired to merge live action footage with computer-generated imagery to make it appear as if Lopez was in the Bronx.
So far, Fiat has acknowledged the "movie magic" fakery so prevalent in the industry. For example, anyone who has spent time in the PacNW might have marveled at a similar trick in 50/50, when Seth Rogan and Joseph Gordon-Levitt go into a coffeeshop in Vancouver, and miraculously exit in Seattle, where the film is set. This stuff happens all the time.)
The luxury car maker's take is that it's about the story being told, not the location of the shoot: "The commercial tells the story of how the simple elements of our upbringing can help explain who we are, where we're going and serve as a source of inspiration to achieve our goals in life. One does not need to be in a specific location to be inspired or continue to be inspired."
Lopez's people haven't said anything about it, but she's certainly not making any new homies after what many are considering a gaffe. "I may have left #BX when I was a little kid, but I am WAYYY more Bronx then this fake-ass beeeyatch," Tweeted @DRusso97. Ouch! (A lot of other Tweets on the subject contained the "c" word.)
The fakery fallout is, albeit a little silly, putting a pretty serious ding in Lopez's reputation. "She may not realize it, but Lopez is doing damage to her credibility each time she talks up this nonsense about her deep and unending ties to the Bronx," remarks Mediabistro. "She’s from New York, but, at this point, she’s as much boogie-down Bx as Chef Boyardee is fine Italian cooking."