“Love Is” … over!
OWN has announced that the popular drama, created and produced by couple Salim and Mara Brock Akil, has been cancelled following abuse allegations aimed at Salim. The statement, provided to HipHollywood by OWN was short and to the point:
“OWN has decided not to move forward with the second season of “Love Is __.” The TV memoir was inspired by the real-life love story of producers Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil.”
It was just this past summer that OWN had announced the show had been renewed for season 2. But now, on the heels of Amber Dixon Brenner‘s lawsuit alleging that she and Salim were engaged in a 10-year affair in which he verbally, physically and sexually abused her, the Oprah Winfrey Network has decided to go in another direction.
” …pre-production had already begun on the new series. However, the allegations against Salim Akil presented a unique challenge for the future of the season, which had been billed as being based on the real-life romance of Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil. That narrative was viewed as having been compromised.”
Until today, Mara had remained mum on the allegations against her husband. But, with the show now gone, she addressed the elephant on the room — sort of.
View this post on Instagram
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
While she doesn’t directly mention her husband’s alleged misdeeds, she does go on to praise the rest of the cast and crew for a wonderful job. She also looks forward to the future stating, “I know we will all go on to create more amazing work.” It’s sad to see “Love Is” end for Mara, but, ironically, Salim still has his “Black Lighting” gig.
“Sources tell Variety that Warner Bros. Television, which produces ‘Love Is ___,’ has completed an inquiry triggered by the lawsuit and found no allegations of misconduct on the OWN series or ‘Black Lightning,’ the CW superhero drama that Salim Akil also exec produces. Production on “Black Lightning” has continued uninterrupted, with Akil remaining in place as showrunner.”
Maybe this will give Mara some time to work on bringing back “Girlfriends”!
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