Warner Bros. Television has opened an investigation into Black Lightning executive producer Salim Akil after he was sued, alleging that he plagiarized elements of his OWN series Love Is ____ and had a years-long, abusive affair with an actress.
Deadline reports that the investigation began today, even though the allegations have nothing to do with Black Lightning itself and no one has claimed Akil behaved inappropriately on that set. Such investigations are commonplace in order to ensure that all voices are heard and everyone feels secure.
Last year, WBTV opened a similar inquiry into iZombie recurring guest star Robert Knepper after allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman on a film set years ago surfaced. Ultimately Knepper remained on the show after Warner Bros. determined that no one on set had alleged he had behaved inappropriately. His character died at the end of the fourth season, but that always seemed to be the trajectory he was headed on.
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.
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.
Akil has not been suspended at this time. ComicBook.com reached out to Warner Bros. TV for a comment yesterday and has not yet heard back. The CW and Akil's production company have also not yet commented publicly.
Black Lightning airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, following episodes of The Flash.