On Wednesday, news broke that Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil was being sued for domestic violence and breach of contract. Now Warner Bros TV has decided to open an investigation into the producer and his CW series.
Warning: This post includes details that could be triggering for readers.
According to Deadline, the studio is taking standard practice to address the alleged assault and any concerns the cast and crew of the DC Comics series might have about Akil. So far he has not been suspended.
In a lawsuit filed on Nov. 20, 2018, a woman named Amber Dixon Brenner claims she and Akil had a “physically and sexually abusive relationship” for years. Her complaint alleges the two began “a dating relationship, which involved frequent sexual contact” about 10 years ago. Akil has been married since 1999 to writer and producer Mara Brock Akil.
Akil's alleged acts of violence are specific, numerous, and disturbing, including forced oral sex, forced penetration, slapping, and strangling. Brenner also claims he once urinated in her mouth without her consent. In addition to physical abuse, she claims he photographed a sexual encounter without her consent and verbally abused her with death threats.
Warner Bros is investigating the OWN series Love Is as well. Brenner is also suing Akil for breach of contract, claiming he stole ideas for the show from her own script Luv & Perversity in the East Village, which she wrote in 2015. She claims to have showed Akil the script for a potential collaboration and the submission “was made with the implied understanding that Defendant Akil would not use any of the ideas within LPEV without the involvement and compensation of Plaintiff.”
Brenner is suing for compensatory damages, emotional distress, attorney fees, and punitive damages.
This news comes less than a year after WBTV fired the The Flash’s Andrew Kreisberg, another showrunner of a DC series for the CW, over sexual harassment allegations.