Saturday, May 8, 2021

OWN’s ‘Love Is’ Canceled Amid Abuse Allegations Against EP Salim Akil

Salim Akil and wife Mara Brock Akil

*OWN’s relationship drama “Love Is ___” has been canceled amid allegations by Amber Dixon Brenner, that she was sexually and physically abused by series EP Salim Akil for over a decade.

According to Deadline, the show ranked No. 1 on cable in its time period and averaged 1.2 million viewers. Salim’s wife, Mara Brock Akil, the show’s co-creator and showrunner, has responded to the news on social media, writing: 

“LOVE IS___ I am saddened that this great group of #artists and #storytellers will no longer get to create together on this project in this way. This was a special tribe— assembling teams like this is by the grace of God— and I will miss not being on set with them to make more magic. And though I know we will all go on to create more amazing work, I’m grateful there was a moment in time that we came together and had the courage to give our best to try and tell a story about love with love. #InTheLandOf #LoveIs,” she posted.

The series was based on the real-life power couple, but according to Brenner, “Love Is” comes from the original screenplay that she pitched to Salim in 2016. The cancellation of the series comes weeks after she sued him for domestic violence and breach of contract. OWN reportedly canceled the show in response to these allegations.

Through his attorney, Salim released a statement about Brenner’s claims: “These allegations are deeply upsetting – but they are also totally untrue. 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.”

In July, Erik Logan, president of OWN, announced the second season: “Mara and Salim have brought their heart and soul to this passion project working with our friends at Warner Horizon Scripted Television and we couldn’t be more thrilled to renew the show for a second season.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.



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