An ever-increasing amount of Black actresses have begun to speak about the discrimination that they’ve faced in the entertainment industry and it has affected them mentally, emotionally and even physically. The latest is The Real host, comedian and actress Loni Love, and she joins another former co-host of the show in sharing the pressures of the business.
Former The Real co-host Tamar Braxton is on the mend after an attempt at taking her own life. It appears part of the reason for Tamar’s attempt was her relationship with network We tv, and a trailer that was released for upcoming show, Get Ya Life! Internet sources and past history say that Tamar was not happy with its contents and has been in a massive contract dispute with We tv.
Her former co-host Adrienne Bailon-Houghton that is still on The Real asked for prayer on Tamar’s behalf. The two had seemed to be tight during the show’s taping and also reportedly kept up a relationship after Tamar left during the show’s third season. Bailon-Houghton told her fans during a live streaming session that she’d been asked “a lot of questions specifically about Tamar.”
Taking to her Instagram, Braxton shared a lengthy explanation of her ordeal, her start on her journey to recovery and how she was going to take on the whole of the reality TV industry because of her mistreatment.
“Over the past 11 years there were promises made to protect and portray my story, with the authenticity and honesty I gave. I was betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid,” she said. “I wrote a letter over 2 months ago asking to be freed from what I believed was excessive and unfair. I explained in personal detail the demise I was experiencing. My cry for help went totally ignored.”
Now, current co-host of The Real, Loni Love, has shared that her experiences in the movie business have left a mark upon her that she’s still working on healing from – a mark large enough that she’s also addressed it in her own memoirs “I Tried To Change So You Don’t Have To.”
Love, a former engineer turned up stand-up comedian, first came into Hollywood films in 2004. Many might remember her comedic role opposite fellow Black comedienne Mo’Nique in the Black cinema classic Soul Plane, but Loni shared that it was those types of roles that she continued to be type casted for that also prevented her from booking television shows like Girlfriends, the early aughts hit on UPN.
In her book, Loni tells a story about how she auditioned during an open call for the upcoming show Girlfriends and when she arrived, she was met with a crowd of all types of Black women. When she didn’t get the role, however, it left her traumatized and unable to watch the show – because she saw that all the women cast were skinny.
Love felt like the industry perceived her as nothing more than a “fat” Black woman and the lack of recognition otherwise had, at the time, kept her from working. She even shared how it was tough to book commercials, with one of the only roles she booked consisting of her eating.
Despite these challenges, she has love for all of the women cast in the show and ultimately reflects upon her journey to confidence in her memoirs, and how it led her to The Real. Even during the pandemic, Love’s been flourishing with her own Instagram Live show called #quarantinewithloni that has been attracting up to 100K viewers.
See the clip below.