Warner Bros. Investigating ‘Black Lightning’ EP for Alleged Abuse

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter/YouTube

Warner Bros. is looking into abuse claims made against Black Lightning producer Salim Akil.

The investigation was prompted by a woman named Amber Dixon Brenner, who filed a lawsuit earlier this month alleging that she and the married writer-director were involved in a 10-year relationship that was rife with physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, according to Deadline.

Akil has been married to screenwriter-producer Mara Brock Akil since 1999. The two co-created OWN’s Love Is and they are co-producers of Black Lightning, a superhero show that’s currently airing its second season on the CW.

Brenner’s lawsuit claims that Akil forced her to perform oral sex on multiple occasions, hit her repeatedly, and urinated in her mouth without consent.

In one particular incident, Brenner alleges that the Oakland, Calif. native made her lick a wall in an underground parking lot.

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Additionally, Brenner is suing Akil and OWN for alleged copyright infringement. She claims the former Soulfood executive producer lifted ideas from a script she pitched to him in 2016, one year before their supposed breakup occurred.

Titled Luv & Perversity in the East Village, the script follows “a young, attractive, black entertainment professional, who falls in love with a dominant and aggressive man who turns her life upside down,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Brenner says Akil used concepts from the script to create Love Is, even though there was an “implied understanding” that he wouldn’t use the submission without her “involvement and compensation.”

She’s suing for compensatory damages, emotional distress, attorney fees, and punitive damages.

Credit: The CW
“Black Lightning” premiered in May 2017. (Credit: The CW)

Warner Bros. started its formal investigation into Brenner’s claims Thursday, and the studio plans to speak with Love Is and Black Lightning staffers, Deadline reported.

Warner Bros. and Akil have yet to comment on the inquiry.

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