Loni “I Stay With A Check” Love is excited to be the host of this year’s The Root 100 gala, taking place on Thursday, December 8th at the Apollo Theater. As always, the beloved host, comedian, author and actress has had another booked and busy year. From ending an epic run as co-host of Emmy-winning talk show The Real to serving as a guest judge on Criss Angel’s Magic With The Stars and hosting NBC’s A Toast to 2022 later this month, Love keeps a steady gig.
However, she insists that her visibility serves a a higher purpose. “When you’re not seen, people forget [about you]—and I’m talking about any Black woman. When people say: ‘Well, you do so much, Loni,’ it’s because I want to remind this industry that Black women are out here. The Viola Davises, the Octavia Spencers, you know, the Gabrielle Unions...these sisters have to work in these spaces where a lot of times they’re the only one.
“A lot of times opportunities are taken from us. So for me, no event is too small and that’s why you see me doing so many different things. No opportunity and no platform to me is too small.” Love, who has been in the entertainment business for two decades, was candid about how much harder it is for Black women to succeed. She also shares it is something that she would never allow to deter her.
“I don’t care what anybody says. Whenever a Black woman is saying or doing anything, we are gonna be harder [on her], we’re more critical. I don’t care where they are as far as from Viola Davis trying to make a movie about a ‘Woman King,’ we’re gonna find something. This is the thing I always tell people to be careful of in this industry. It’s so hard to get a film made. You know what [Davis] had to do with her and her husband and her production company to get it made? And y’all over here roasting her? It’s like, give some grace.”
Love knows firsthand what it’s like to be in the public eye and trolled for simply existing, unapologetically, in Hollywood.
“I can tell you as being the heavy set Black, dark skinned woman that was on a talk show for nine years, the stuff that I had to go through...and I know it was about colorism, it was about fatphobia. But I’m a Black woman who was raised in the [Detroit] Brewster projects. I know who I am, I know what I’m about and what I know what I’m trying to do. But Black women...we really, really have to protect each other.”
That fiery passion—as well as Love’s brilliance—makes her the perfect person to host The Root 100 salute to Black excellence this year. And honestly, she couldn’t be more thrilled to take on the task. “This is the perfect time for us to kind of all come together, do a rewind and then go and celebrate a holiday. So I can’t wait to get everybody at the historic Apollo Theater. We’re gonna have a good time.”