Yesterday, allegations regarding Black Lightning executive producer and showrunner Salim Akil became public. According to The Hollywood Reporter, actor Amber Dixon Brenner filed a complaint in the Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Akil of repeated physical and sexual abuse over the course of an alleged ten-year affair with the married Akil which ended in 2017.
She also claims Akil used elements of a screenplay she pitched, entitled Luv & Perversity in the East Village, as the basis for Love Is, the OWN Network drama produced by Akil and his wife Mara Brock Akil. She is suing them and OWN for copyright infringement in a separate court filing.
Today, Deadline reported Warner Bros. Television, which owns Black Lightning and plays home to the Akils’ overall television production deal, has opened an investigation into the allegations. Though Warner TV will not confirm the investigation has begun, it mirrors the situation the company faced when allegations arouse concerning Andrew Kreisberg’s pattern of sexual harassment in the production offices of The Flash and Supergirl. The producer was suspended and summarily dismissed from Warner TV and Berlanti Productions; which produces The CW superhero shows, including Black Lightning.
The case is somewhat different as Brenner’s claims seem to occur outside of Akil’s official capacity at Warner TV, but considering the alleged decade-long affair, it is possible something happened into the production offices. In that case, the company would be forced to take some sort of disciplinary action; including Akil’s potential dismissal.
Meanwhile, Black Lighting continues to air on The CW with its mid-season finale scheduled for December 11th.