OWN cancels ‘Love Is’ amid Salim Akil scandal, network dropped from accuser’s lawsuit

Season 2 of the series has officially been scrapped.

Salim Akil/ Mara Brock Akil
(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)


 

Love Is has been canceled by OWN amid the ongoing scandal surrounding Salim Akil.

“OWN has decided not to move forward with the second season of ‘Love Is __,’” the network said in a statement on Wednesday. “The TV memoir was inspired by the real-life love story of producers Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil.”

The show that was created by Mara Brock Akil and her husband, Salim Akil has been under scrutiny ever since October, when Amber Dixon Brenner filed a federal lawsuit against the couple and OWN, claiming they stole her screenplay for the show.

Brenner claimed she gave Salim Akil her screenplay for Luv & Perversity in the East Village (LPEV) in 2016. She alleges is a fictional story “about loving a person who is detrimental to her own life and takes the readers on a journey that explores love in the context of such an abusive relationship.”

Months later, Brenner filed a separate lawsuit alleging the screenplay was actually about her relationship with Salim Akil and accused him of domestic violence, non-consensual assault and battery, and breach of contract.

The court documents reveal that Brennan contends she and Akil (who has been married to Mara Brock Akil  since 1999) began “a dating relationship, which involved frequent sexual contact” ten years ago and says their relationship did not end until 2017. She claims that Akil demonstrated violent and abusive behavior throughout their union and accuses him of forcing her to perform oral sex among other things.

Brenner dropped the original suit that included OWN earlier this week. Salim Akil has denied the allegations against him and Mara Brock Akil has yet to comment on the situation publicly.

Salim Akil who serves as the Black Lightning showrunner issued a statement to Deadline through his attorney, Stephen D. Barnes of law firm Barnes, Morris, Klein, & Yorn:

“These allegations are deeply upsetting – but they are also totally untrue. We will defend Salim to the fullest against the false and offensive claims that a woman with whom he had a past relationship has included in multiple unsubstantiated lawsuits. Salim looks forward to clearing his name and to being able to focus on his work and his family.”