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Actor in Lena Waithe’s ‘The Chi’: For a Project to Be Successful, ‘A Woman Has to Be Involved’

Shomari Love, who plays the role of Bilal on Showtime’s “The Chi,” told Bold TV, “If something is going to be successful, if something is going to have that touch that it needs…a woman has to be involved.”

He said the show owes its success to its creator, Lena Waithe, who has been a vocal advocate of increasing representation for women of color in Hollywood (both behind and in front of the camera).

Love said women are “the most important” and that, “one of my heroes and role models is my mother.”

Love told Bold TV about the media he saw growing up and as a college student at Seton Hall University. Although he became a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, he said that African-American representation at his school was slim.

“Experiencing the arts and the theater programs that my university offered, I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of diversity in a lot of these programs, and I didn’t really see people like myself that were involved in the theater and those programs,” he said. “It was only until I realized that there were certain members of my fraternity, actually, who had made certain advancements in the entertainment industry, and in certain role models of mine, such as Sidney Poitier, who broke barriers that set a precedent and that made us aware that things like that are possible.”

Love said we have to continue to increase African-American presence in media. “There’s a lot of content out right now that is very inclusive, that represents a broad spectrum. There’s not one way to be African-American.”

“The Chi” is a show based on everyday life and culture in Chicago, Illinois. The city is infamous for its murder rate, however, those rates have gone down 30 percent this year. Love said that the stigma of gun violence has been shifting, and he said social media may be one of the reasons. 

“We’re able to reach more people now and to address these things before they become too problematic. That’s the goal,” he told Bold TV.

Photo Credit: Showtime

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