It never fails, just when someone is riding at the highest of heights in success, some type of sexual misconduct allegations surface. The new head on the chopping block is Salim Akil, husband of Mara Brock Akil. The husband-and-wife team are responsible for shows like “Being Mary Jane”, “Black Lightening”, and most recently “Love Is___.”
In July, OWN renewed “Love Is___,” the relationship drama for another season. The deal is now off the table amid allegations against creator Salim Akil. According to sources, Salim Akil was sued by actress Dixon Brenner who is claiming that the producer was physically and sexually abusive to her during an extramarital affair they had. The lawsuit filed in November states physical and sexual abuse claims against Akil performing monstrous acts, including an allegation that he urinated in Brenner’s mouth during forced oral sex and an incident where he forced her to lick a parking garage wall. Wow, these are some off the wall accusations.
We’ve learned that pre-production had already begun on the series. However, the allegations against Mr. Akil fostered a very challenging situation for the future of the season. Canceling the show until this is resolved was a smart move on the network’s part. Plus, we know Ms. Winfrey ain’t jeopardizing her empire for no one. As she shouldn’t! I do hope things come out on the positive side for all who are involved in this matter.
Mara Brock Akil responded about OWN canceling her show via her Instagram account by saying that she was “saddened” that Love Is___ would cease production:
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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