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‘We Wouldn’t Have Cardi B Without a Reality Show’: ‘The Real’ Host Loni Love Defends Reality TV, Launches New Production Company

Longtime TV host, author, and comedienne Loni Love continues her journey into the production space with her brand-new company True Love Incorporated.

There is a uniqueness to Black creatives and there are so many different types of voices.  You see the Issa Raes and you see the Ava Duvernays, so that’s what actually encouraged me,” Love said. “I decided that I just wanted to open up my own production company where I’m able to work with different types of networks and studios to produce product as a Black creative.” 

One of the company’s first projects: “Little Women Atlanta: Unfiltered” — the “Little Women” after show executive produced and hosted by Love herself.

What I love about the ‘Little Women: Atlanta’ is that it’s just that. It’s women of color, and that’s what I think needs to be showcased. And even though they’re little women, they’re just like average-sized women. They go through the same ups and downs; they’re trying to hustle. They’re trying to get their lives on track. They’re mothers, they’re wives, so I just love it,” Love said. 

“Unfiltered” gives the women a chance to have fun and to talk through the ups and downs of the show — including a special episode to honor the life of cast member Miss Minnie, who was tragically killed in a car accident last year.

“To have someone … you weren’t allowed to say goodbye. It was a shocking tragedy that just happened. There’s a lot of guilt, a lot of sadness,” Love said.  You know we’re Black folks. We’re gon’ send ’em off. We say going home. We celebrate their life. We’re not gonna sit here and cry the whole time, we’re gonna celebrate. The purpose of the after show was to give the fans a proper celebration of Ms. Minnie, but also to keep her family and the women in prayer.”

Love acknowledged the hardships of the year gone by and finding her company’s mission amidst the tragedy. “I know that this past year has been really hard on a lot of us,” she began. A lot of us have lost people. They don’t want us to just sit around and be sad. They want us to keep living.

“And that’s how your honor a person,” she added. “You do your best, you keep living, you keep trying to help someone else out and inspire and reach out, and so that’s what I’m trying to do. That’s why I want to become an executive producer. My production company, True Love Incorporated, I only want to work with networks that want to uplift and help to entertain women, because women are awesome and there are all different types of women and we need to be celebrated.” 

She also defended reality shows. “People can say what they want to say about reality shows, but until reality shows actually started, there was only a handful of women — especially women of color — on [in] prime time. Even if you look at “Little Women,” during the racial injustice, we showed them at marches. Where are you going to see that at on prime time television?” Love said.

Loni Love. Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

“Yes, you have to have drama, because the drama is what draws in the viewers,” she continued. “They start on the reality shows, and from that they’re opening their own businesses, they’re becoming entrepreneurs and showing other women how to do it. We wouldn’t have Cardi B without a reality show.  We wouldn’t have the Drayas, we wouldn’t have the Tami Romans — who I love — we wouldn’t have the Nene Leakes. But also it’s important to show that we can go beyond the reality shows, and we need to be part of the scripted world, which we are starting to become. We need to be part of the unscripted world where we can host game shows, where we can host shows, where we can host talk shows. The point is that we start one way, but now we’re evolving into something totally different, and I just think that’s awesome.”

Despite having interviewed some of the most famous people on earth, including the Obamas, love has her sights set on a royal target.

“I would love to interview Meghan Markle. That’s somebody I would love to just sit down and talk to, like girlfriend talk,” Love said. “Without Harry! I don’t want Harry, I just want Megan. So we could ‘keke,’ talk about the queen,” she laughed. “‘Girl, what is it like in those castles? What’s happening? Girl, wasn’t it stuffy? Weren’t you sneezing all the time?’ I would love to talk to her.”

Catch Loni Love hosting “Little Women Atlanta: Unfiltered” on Lifetime every Friday after the “Little Women Atlanta” show. 

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