Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil has issued a statement to Deadline through his attorney Stephen D. Barnes in response to the domestic violence and breach of contract allegations made by actress Amber Dixon Brenner. "These allegations are deeply upsetting – but they are also totally untrue," the statement reads. "We will defend Salim to the fullest against the false and offensive claims that a woman with whom he had a past relationship has included in multiple unsubstantiated lawsuits. Salim looks forward to clearing his name and to being able to focus on his work and his family."
Brenner filed a complaint in late November accusing Akil of repeated "non-consensual assault and battery." She alleges that the Black Lightning producer hit her and forced her into oral sex on multiple occasions, in addition to photographing a sexual encounter without her permission during their affair which dates back a decade ago until last year. She also claims Akil used elements of her screenplay regarding an abusive relationship to create the OWN series Love Is. He, along with wife and Love Is producer Mara Brock Akil and OWN, have been named in Brenner's copyright infringement suit.
Shortly after the allegations were made public, Deadline reports Warner Bros TV launched an investigation where they planned to conduct "an inquiry with cast and crew" tied to Black Lightning and Love Is. The move by WBTV was to ensure the safety of everyone involved, as well as provide anyone with the opportunity to speak up about information pertaining to Akil.