OWN Cancels ‘Love Is’ After Salim Akil Abuse Claim

Credit: OWN

The Oprah Winfrey Network series Love Is won’t be back for Season 2.

After renewing the show for a second season in July, the network reversed its decision Wednesday for unspecified reasons.

“OWN has decided not to move forward with the second season of Love Is __,” the network said in a statement to Urban Hollywood 411.

The announcement also addressed the show’s married co-creators Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, adding:  “The TV memoir was inspired by the real-life love story of producers Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil.”

OWN’s decision to scrap Love Is comes on the heels of an investigation into abuse claims made against Salim, who has been married to Mara Brock since 1999.

A woman named Amber Dixon Brenner filed a lawsuit against the Black Lightning producer in November, alleging that she and the writer-director were involved in a 10-year relationship that was rife with physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, according to Deadline.

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

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Warner Bros., which produces Black Lightning, launched an investigation into Brenner’s claims on Nov. 30. The inquiry found “no accusations or allegations” of misconduct, according to published reports.

Although the cancellation of Love Is reportedly has no connection to the investigation into Salim, it’s unclear if Brenner’s lawsuit against OWN for alleged copyright infringement played a role.

The legal filing accuses the former Soul Food executive producer of lifting ideas from a script she pitched to him in 2016, one year before their supposed breakup occurred.

Brenner says Salim 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.”

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The aspiring screenwriter has since dropped the lawsuit against OWN,  however, choosing instead to focus her attention on her abuse lawsuit against Salim.

“In light of Salim Akil’s disappointing though predictable denial of his actions, Amber Dixon Brenner has decided to place all of her focus on the State Court lawsuit of Domestic Violence and Breach of Implied Contract,” Brenner’s lawyer, Joseph Costa, told The Blast.

He continued: “She is placing the Federal Copyright case on hold without prejudice to refile. It must be said that Amber is surprised and disappointed that The Oprah Winfrey Network not once has demonstrated to Amber any desire to inquire into her allegations in light of the bigger picture at hand, specifically the courage it takes for any victim of abuse and theft to shine light upon the truth.”

The statement concludes: “Amber looks forward to presenting the evidentiary substantiation of every single one of her claims in the State Court action against Defendant Salim Akil.”

Salim has yet to comment on Brenner’s claims and the cancellation of Love Is.

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