'Insecure's Show-Within-a-Show 'Looking for LaToya' Becomes a Podcast: Hear the First 5 Minutes (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
Merie W. Wallace/HBO
Insecure's Looking for LaToya is becoming a podcast! Issa Rae's label Raedio and HBO have partnered with podcast producer Tenderfoot TV to bring the show-within-a-show to life in a new way. The in-universe true crime series will continue with one scripted podcast episode on Sunday -- and ET is debuting the first five minutes.
Looking for LaToya follows the story of LaToya Thompson (SZA), a young woman whose mysterious disappearance is investigated throughout the show. It riffs off of popular true crime podcasts like the Tenderfoot-produced To Live and Die in L.A., illustrating media and law enforcement's lack of focus on black women, and the importance of bringing these stories to light.
Rae previously told ET that To Live and Die in L.A., hosted Neil Strauss, specifically served as inspiration for Looking for LaToya.
"I was obsessed with To Live and Die in L.A., and other people were listening to other true crime podcasts or watching shows," she explained of the show's creation, adding that writers also found a parallel between Issa and Molly's (Yvonne Orji) friendship this season.
"One of the things a lot of these true crime podcasts and true crime shows in general have in common is that they're always looking for missing white girls," she pointed out. "[This exposes] the idea that none of these are centered around black girls, and what it would look like if it were. And finding the dark humor in that."
"I think all of our shows within a show in some way comment socially and try to sort of be irreverent and play around with different ideas that are at play currently," Natasha Rothwell added.
Tenderfoot, Raedio and HBO have made a commitment to support the Black and Missing Foundation, which aims to help bring awareness to missing persons of color around the nation.
The Looking for LaToya podcast offers a jam-packed dive into the disappearance and speculated murder of LaToya, with never-before-seen details and information. It features cast members Terri J. Vaughn, Ray J, Porsha Williams, Kandi Burruss-Tucker, and Carl Anthony Payne II.
Listen to the first five minutes of Looking for LaToya below:
Beyond what’s seen in Insecure, Looking for LaToya is extended online with additional videos, infographics, and the podcast at LookingForLaToya.com.
"It's been an honor to partner with Tenderfoot TV to produce the Looking For LaToya podcast," said Benoni Tagoe, President of Raedio. "Their team has incredible skills and brings an uncompromised passion to the podcast space. With Raedio being an audio everywhere company with roots in music and storytelling the Looking For LaToya project was a seamless next step as we develop our slate of content."
"Partnering with Issa Rae and her incredibly talented team is an honor,” added Donald Albright, President of Tenderfoot TV. “Insecure is a phenomenal series that highlights the beauty and the struggle of the black experience in both a humorous and respectful way. There is always a message and a larger point behind the humor, which holds true on Looking For LaToya. I look forward to bringing a new side of Looking for LaToya to life, and sharing this episode with podcast listeners and fans of the show."
Looking for LaToya debuts on all podcast platforms on Sunday. The season four finale of Insecure airs Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.