‘One Tree Hil’” creator Mark Schwahn has been accused of sexual harassment by the former cast and crew members of the series.
The accusations come more than five years after the show’s conclusion amid growing sexual harassment accusations to prominent Hollywood names. They follow Audrey Wauchope’s accusations of sexual harrassment.
“Women, we’re in this together”
The women came forward with the accusations in a penned letter published in Variety on Monday. ‘One Tree Hill’ ran from 2003 to 2012.Eighteen women who worked on ‘One Tree Hill,’ including stars Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz signed the letter.
“To use terminology that has become familiar as the systemic reality of sexual harassment and assault has come more and more to light, Mark Schwahn’s behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an ‘open secret.’
“Many of us were put in uncomfortable positions and had to swiftly learn to fight back, sometimes physically, because it was made clear to us that the supervisors in the room were not the protectors they were supposed to be.”
The women also wrote how they felt trapped and threatened to talk about these incidents and put in danger the jobs of so many,
“Many of us were told, during filming, that coming forward to talk about this culture would result in our show being canceled and hundreds of lovely, qualified, hard-working, and talented people losing their jobs.”
It reached a point where the women confided in each other and “set up safe spaces to talk about his behavior and how to handle it” and warn new women.
“We also understood that no one was fully unaware. The lack of action that has been routine, the turning of the other cheek, is intolerable. We collectively want to echo the calls of women everywhere that vehemently demand change, in all industries.”
“Believe Women. We are all in this together,” concludes the letter.
It was signed by cast members: Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Danneel Harris, Michaela McManus, Kate Voegele, Daphne Zuniga, India DeBeaufort, Bevin Prince, Jana Kramer, Shantel Van Santen and Allison Munn And crew members: Audrey Wauchope, Rachel Specter, Jane Beck, Tarin Squillante, Cristy Koebley, JoJo Stephens.
Standing up in support of a friend
The lengthy detailed letter was penned in support of former ‘One Tree Hill’ writer Audrey Wauchope, who during the weekend took to Twitter to detail talk about sexual harassment in a Twitter thread.
In the thread, Wauchope talked about the showrunner on her first job, and the treatment female crew endured during the time the show ran. She said that this unspecified showrunner massaged his female employees’ shoulders, touched their hair, put his arms around them, showed male staffers naked photos of his girlfriend.
Wauchope also explained how the showrunner tried to talk Wauchope’s writing partner, Rachel Specter, out of getting married so he could date her. “I know he did more but not to me so they’re not my stories to share.”
Though Wauchope did not name Schwahn, she made it clear she was talking about ‘One Tree Hill,’ saying that while she and Specter wrote for two shows together, their male colleagues on ‘Cougartown’ were “aces.
Following the accusations ‘The Royals’ producers companies Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television delivered a statement that read.
“We are monitoring the information carefully. E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television are committed to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated respectfully and professionally.”
In light of the Andrew Kreisberg reporting, a couple thoughts about my first writing job that I've wanted to say for years but have never had the guts to. When I was 29 my writing partner @RachelSpecter and I were hired as staff writers.
— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017
Male members of the former show fully support their cast friends
On Tuesday, male members of the cast took to social media to express their support to female cast members.
Chad Michael Murray, Bryan Greenberg, James Lafferty, and Austin Nichols are among the male cast members advocating on behalf of writer Audrey Wauchope and the rest of the ‘One Tree Hill’ team, who penned an open letter “to stand together in support.”
— Chad Michael Murray (@ChadMMurray) November 14, 2017
— James Lafferty (@ThisIsLafferty) November 14, 2017
To my sisters/all the women of OTH that have come forward and showed their bravery. I want u to know that I love u and I support u 😁😁💯💯🙌🏾🙌🏾
— antwon tanner (@antwon_tanner) November 14, 2017
To the women of OTH that have come forward and bravely used their voices, I want you to know I believe you, I respect you and I support you.
— Robert Buckley (@robertbuckley) November 14, 2017