OWN Scraps 'Love Is_' Amid Creator's Domestic Violence Lawsuit

LOVE IS Still 1 -Nuri and Yasir in front of Insomnia Cafe - Publicity-H 2018
?Courtesy?of?OWN/Michael Desmond/Warner?Bros.?Entertainment?Inc.?

Love Is_ is no more at OWN. The romantic drama, which received a second season order back in July, has been retroactively canceled in the wake of domestic violence allegations levied against co-creator Salim Akil.

To be clear, the allegations are unrelated to the Warner Bros.-produced drama. And a November and December internal inquiry is said to have revealed no evidence of abuse or assault relating to Love Is_ or Akil's other show at the network, The CW's Black Lightning. But the fact that actress Amber Dixon Brenner has filed a lawsuit claiming that she was Akil's longtime girlfriend, while during his marriage to Love Is_ co-creator Mara Brock Akil, took the wind out of the semi-autobiographical love story's sails.

Brenner's graphic lawsuit claims she and Akil began an affair a decade ago and were together up until 2017. During that time, the actress claims he hit her and photographed a sexual encounter without permission, among several other things.
Akil and Brock Akil have been something of Hollywood darlings for a time, with their massive success at BET with The Game and Being Mary Jane ultimately translating to a massive overall deal at Warner Bros. TV. (That pact remains in effect.)
For OWN, doing an about-face on Love Is_ is not the worst move. Though it premiered to relatively favorable reviews from critics, it was not the ratings darling that so many of the Discovery-owned network's original dramas have become. Among OWN's targeted women 25-54 demo, Love Is_ was the cabler's lowest-rated drama.  

Akil has only spoken out about the allegations through his attorney, who issued the following statement in November: "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.”