(UPDATED): Weeks after domestic violence and breach of contract allegations against producer and director Salim Akil went public, OWN has announced that it’s cancelling Akil and his wife’s Mara Brock-Akil’s show, ‘Love Is__.”
The drama was based on how the Akil’s met in the 90s and fell in love.
According to Shadow and Act, despite being renewed earlier this summer for a second season, OWN reps told the Black entertainment website that they are cancelling the show.
“OWN has decided not to move forward with the second season of Love Is __,” they said.
Clearly, one can assume that Mama Oprah was not having her name attached to this messiness.
Mara has spoken out on the show’s cancelation, posting on Instagram that she is “saddened” by the news.
“I am saddened that this great group of #artists and #storytellerswill 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,” she wrote on Wednesday.
Adding, “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”
As we previously reported, Salim was accused of domestic violence and breach of contract by former mistress Amber Dixon Brenner. Papers that Brenner, an actress and screenwriter, filed on November 20, 2018, claim she had a lengthy “physically and sexually abusive relationship” with Akil that occurred during his marriage to Mara.
Brenner is also suing the “Black Lightening” co-creator for breach of contract accusing Akil of taking her 2015 script “Luv & Perversity in the East Village”about their relationship and using part of that script for his OWN show Love Is without her consent, knowledge and compensation.
Jezebel reported that Brenner’s lawsuit paints a disturbing picture of Akil and their relationship, which included the following:
- Multiple claims of physical and sexual abuse i.e. forcing her to perform oral sex on him which ended with him urinating in her mouth.
- Outside his house on Martha’s Vineyard, she alleges that “he proceeded to stick three fingers up her anus and started lecturing her.”
- Multiple instances of him slapping and strangling her during sex.
- Him taking sexual pictures of her without her consent.
- Bouts of verbal abuse threatening that if she ever got pregnant he would dispose of her in a desert if and said if they were married and she cheated on him, “he would stick her hand in a hot skillet of grease.”
No word on whether the CW will cancel the couple’s other show “Black Lightening.”
This updated version of the article includes a statement by Mara Brock Akil.