Salim Akil, the showrunner of The CW's Black Lightning, is being sued for domestic violence and copyright infringement.
Actor Amber Dixon Brenner has filed lawsuits against Akil, his production company, and OWN, claiming that ideas she pitched to Akil ended up being used for the OWN series Love Is ____.
Brenner alleges that the project was pitched to Akil while they were engaged in a years-long romantic relationship, which she claims ended last year. Akil is married to his fellow producer, Mara Brock Akil, who was credited as co-creator on Love Is ____. That series is expected to begin its second season in 2019. The two were married in 1999.
Brenner includes a detailed list of allegations, including rough and sometimes non-consensual sexual relations, but says that she did not break off the relationship because of her work relationship with Akil. She also says that he hit her, and photographed a sexual encounter without her permission.
“The acts of Defendant Akil were undertaken and performed by Defendant Akil willfully, maliciously, and with an intent to oppress Plaintiff and by reason thereof, Plaintiff is entitled to an award of punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial,” the complaint says (you can read it here, via Deadline).
ComicBook.com has reached out to Warner Bros. TV for comment, and will update this story if they respond. So far, other reports have not included any response from the Akils, The CW, or WBTV. Salim and Mara Brock Akil's production company -- through which Brock Akil developed seires like Girlfriends and The Game -- left its longtime deal at BET in 2016 for an overall pact at Warner Bros. Television.1comments
Last year, Supergirl and The Flash executive producer Andrew Kreisberg was accused of sexual and professional misconduct by nearly twenty current and former employees, both male and female. At the time the news broke, Berlanti Productions -- which also oversees Black Lightning -- had already launched an investigation into the allegations and placed Kreisberg on leave. He was eventually let go entirely. That no such investigation has been announced this time could suggest that Warner Bros. was caught unaware and are taking their time, or just as easily could mean that they knew this was coming and already investigated it internally and determined it not to be a liability to the company, as was the case with AMC and Chris Hardwick.
Black Lightning airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, following episodes of The Flash.