“Black Lightning” showrunner Salim Akil has been accused of domestic abuse (and some other things) and now Warner Bros TV have started an investigation.
via Page Six:
While not saying anything publicly and taking a stance of innocent until proven guilty when it comes to EP, the studio will be conducting an inquiry with cast and crew on the Atlanta filmed show, we’ve learned.
WBTV reps had no comment when contacted by Deadline, but the investigation formally started today.
Even though the claims against Akil have nothing to do with his role as showrunner on Black Lightning, this move by the studio is now pretty standard practice in such circumstances. The aim is to address safety and other concerns on the series by cast and crew and confidentially discover if they have any information they would like to share.
Akil has not been suspended from the Berlanti Productions produced “Black Lightning.”
In a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on November 20, actor Amber Dixon Brenner accuses Akil of repeated “non-consensual assault and battery.” As well as claiming breach of contract over a screenplay that Akil is alleged to have reappropriated, Brenner says that she and the married EP were lovers for over a decade up until 2017.
CAA-repped Akil, and his wife, writer-producer Mara Brock Akil, who is also at the uber-agency, inked an overall deal with WBTV in 2016.
Additionally, Brenner is also suing the Akils and Oprah’s OWN in federal court for copyright infringement. The allegation is that the EP took a 2016 screenplay of hers about an abusive relationship to use as the basis for what became the OWN series, “Love Is,” produced by Warner Horizon TV.
OWN has not responded to requests if they have opened an investigation into the abuse allegations or otherwise. Defendants in the federal case have until December 28 to respond formally to Brenner’s filing.
This is not the first time, allegations of sexual nature have arisen at a WBTV superhero show. Earlier this year, WBTV fired the showrunner of another Berlanti Prods. DC series for the CW, “The Flash’s” Andrew Kreisberg, over sexual harassment allegations.
We’re still unsure how these networks ‘investigate’ abuse claims….but we’ll go with it.