OWN Cancels “Love Is” Amidst #MeToo Accusations Against Salim Akil

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By Victor Trammell and Nomalanga Mhauli-Moses

Photo credits: The Associated Press

The #MeToo movement in Hollywood appears to have exposed another male pariah who was once a highly-coveted television producer, even earning esteem from the likes of Oprah Winfrey.

According to Ebony Magazine, Salim Akil (pictured right) is at the center of a raging scandal, which entails allegations against him ranging from physical battery to $exual assault. As a result, Akil and his wife Mara Brock Akil (pictured left) have been fired by OWN and future productions of their TV series Love Is have been permanently cancelled. 

This is an ironic twist of events considering the fact that Winfrey, OWN’s co-founder, once expressed her excitement about having the Akil couple as a shot-calling part of the black-owned television network. At a Los Angeles premier of Love Is in June 2018, Winfrey spoke with the Hollywood Reporter about seeing Brock Akil at an Essence Magazine luncheon for black Hollywood’s women in 2013.

“[Mara] was talking with someone and I was just sitting there thinking, ‘Never going to happen because she’s at [BET]. I was even afraid to go up to her because I thought someone is going to think I’m trying to talk to her – I’m trying to steal her. I was like, I want no issues from nobody. So I’m just waving across the room, ‘Hi,'” Winfrey said.

However, nowadays, things are not so kosher between OWN and the Akil couple, the brains behind successful BET television shows, such as The Game, Being Mary Jane, as well as shows on other networks. Mr. Akil has a woman proclaiming to be his former mistress alleging in a lawsuit that he emotionally abused her, physically attacked her, and even raped her.

The woman making these allegations is an actress named Amber Dixon Brenner. After the accuser’s lawyer recently went public with these allegations against Mr. Akil, OWN quickly severed ties with him an his wife. Mr. Akil denies any wrongdoing and his attorney Stephen Barnes said his client intends to clear his name, refocus his career, and take care of his family.

Dixon Brenner also claims that her affair with Mr. Akil ended in 2017 and obviously occurred during his marriage to Mrs. Brock Akil.

Source 1: https://www.ebony.com/entertainment/love-is_-cancelled-by-own-as-salim-akil-faces-abuse-allegations/?utm_content=still&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&fbclid=IwAR165vzIPUG769eOH-ZMbN38YUWoZA0AlTiqX4q2f-VnXUFxsGnLlTMRibA

Source 2: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/love-is-premiere-oprah-winfrey-wanting-work-mara-brock-akil-1119447

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