deep dives

What Is the Truth About Divas?

Photo: Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter; Courtesy of Billboard

The cover of this week’s Hollywood Reporter asks, “Who You Calling a Diva?” while Billboard exclaims, “Viva la Diva!” These juxtaposing stances inevitably lead to the crucial question … what is the truth about divas?

Visually, these are two very excellent covers: one a utopian vision of a Hollywood where women have subsumed men and now exclusively lounge around in peach-toned gowns, the other an inspirational lesson in how to make a bath towel appear couture.

But the stories contained within are very different. In The Hollywood Reporter’s cover story, Jennifer Lopez laments how “diva” has been a four-letter word for her. “I got a moniker of being ‘the diva,’” she said. “Like, we’re not allowed to have certain opinions or even be passionate about something, or they’ll be like, ‘God, she’s really difficult.’ It’s like, ‘Am I? Am I difficult because I care?’”

Okay, so: Diva bad.

But in Chris Martins’s profile of Ariana Grande, he writes, “Behind the scenes with other folks, it has been rumored that Grande is somewhat difficult — that she is, you know, a diva.” To which Republic Records chairman and CEO Monte Lipman responds, “The D-word for Ariana is ‘do-it-yourself.’ She takes on tremendous responsibility and isn’t afraid to challenge whomever. Some people are intimidated by that, but I encourage it. We’ve argued — we’ll raise our voices — but that’s creative conflict and that’s where the sparks fly. It always starts and ends with Ariana.”

Wait, so diva … good? Okay, yeah. Diva good. Case closed.