The CW is standing by Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil. This comes after Akil faced a series of accusations of non-consensual assault and battery and breach of contract as part of a lawsuit last year.
Black Lightning producer Warner Bros Television launched an internal investigation last year in the wake of the accusations and found that not a “single person” on the series had issues or complaints to make known on Akil.
Mark Pedowitz, president of the CW, said Thursday he believed Akil’s issue was “personal.”
“When litigation came to us, Warner [Bros] did the appropriate thing and did an investigation on the set… and there is no world where that is not a safe place, there were no wrongdoings found,” he said during his executive session at TCA. “He had a personal issue that is nothing to do with the show. The show, as far as we’re concerned, is that Salim, the other producers, the cast and the crew, they deserve to work.”
This comes after the youth-skewing network handed Black Lightning a third-season pickup today along with nine other series.
Akil’s issue began last November when actor Amber Dixon Brenner, in a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, accused Akil of repeated “non-consensual assault and battery.” She also claimed breach of contract over a screenplay she accused Akil of appropriating. In December, OWN cancelled drama Love Is_.
Pedowitz refused to be drawn on the issue of plagiarism, which involved Love Is_. “I can’t say if he did or he didn’t, that’s for the courts to decide. We’ll see what happens,” he added.