The Oprah Winfrey Network has canceled romantic drama Love Is__ following allegations of domestic abuse and copyright infringement brought against the show’s producer and co-creator Salim Akil, according to a report from Variety.
In November, actress Amber Dixon Brenner filed a lawsuit against Akil, alleging that he abused her sexually, physically, and verbally during an extramarital affair that lasted almost 10 years. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Brenner accused Akil of slapping her around and forcing her to perform sexual acts on him on numerous occasions.
After the allegations were made public, Warner Bros. Television, the production company for the show, reportedly launched an internal investigation into the matter. The investigation found no evidence of any misconduct by Akil on Love Is__ or on the CW’s Black Lightning, where he serves as showrunner. Black Lightning, according to the report from Variety, will continue uninterrupted and Akil will maintain his creative position.
But the situation appears to be a little different for OWN’s Love Is__.
The show was birthed and produced by Akil and his wife, creative powerhouse Mara Brock Akil. It tells the story of the couple’s real-life romance and how they managed to find love and success in Hollywood. The show premiered earlier this year and was renewed for a second season, but has since been canceled amid the allegations against Akil.
“The narrative has changed,” a source noted, according to Deadline.
Mara Brock Akil has responded to the cancelation news in a post on Instagram. She posted a photo from what looks to be a television set with a director’s chair bearing the show’s title as the focus of the shot. In her caption, Brock Akil expressed sadness and gratitude.
View this post on Instagram
LOVE IS___ I am saddened that this great group of #artists and #storytellers will no longer get to create together on this project in this way. This was a special tribe— assembling teams like this is by the grace of God— and I will miss not being on set with them to make more magic. And though I know we will all go on to create more amazing work, I’m grateful there was a moment in time that we came together and had the courage to give our best to try and tell a story about love with love. #InTheLandOf #LoveIs
Akil previously addressed the allegations brought against him through a statement from his lawyer, Stephen D. Barnes of law firm Barnes, Morris, Klein, & Yorn, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
“These allegations are deeply upsetting — but they are also totally untrue,” the statement read.
“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.”
Brenner also filed a suit accusing Akil of stealing ideas from her 2015 Luv & Perversity in the East Village screenplay and implementing them into Love Is__. Along with Akil, the suit also named Brock Akil and OWN as defendants in the case of copyright infringement. However, last week, Brenner filed a voluntary dismissal without prejudice on the matter, according to a report from Deadline.
“Whereas Plaintiff has a pending State Court action against defendant Salim Akil, the disposition of which may have a bearing on this action, and it is her intent to have that State action proceed,” the dismissal note read.