18 'One Tree Hill' Cast And Crew Members Accuse Showrunner Mark Schwahn Of Sexual Harassment

Sophia Bush, mark schwahn, sexual harassment, one tree hill
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'One Tree Hill' showrunner Mark Shwahn has been accused by 18 members of the cast and crew of sexual harassment.

Former One Tree Hill Writer, Audrey Wauchope, Accused Showrunner Mark Schwahn Of Sexual Harassment

18 women of the cast and crew of the popular teen drama series, One Tree Hill, have come together to offer support for the show's former writer, Audrey Wauchope, who accused series showrunner, Mark Schwahn, of sexual harassment. The cast and crew, including the show's stars Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz, released a statement to "stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another."

On Saturday, Wauchope, who now serves as a writer on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, posted a statement on Twitter that accused Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment.

In part, this admission may have been inspired by the #MeToo Movement, which has encouraged many women and men to come forward about sexual harassment and sexual assault they have faced.

Wauchope was 29 when she was hired as a staff writer on the show, her first writing job, with her writing partner, Rachel Specter.

The One Tree Hill Cast And Crew On Mark Schwahn

Wauchope did not identify Schwahn by name, but other crew and cast members, including Sophia Bush, have released a statement. Wauchope described an atmosphere where women were often touched without their consent. He would pet their hair, rub their shoulders, or squeeze next to them on the couch.

Often, male writers on the show would try to separate the women from the showrunner by sitting next to him. She also accuses Schwahn of showing nude photos of an actress he had a sexual relationship with to other male staffers without the actress's knowledge or permission.

In a response, the 18 members of the cast and crew released a unified statement standing with Audrey Wauchope.

The letter reads:

"All of the female cast members of One Tree Hill have chosen this forum to stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another. 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 ... And a few of us were put in positions where we felt physically unsafe. More than one woman on our show had her career trajectory threatened."

The letter continues to say that many women in the cast and crew banded together to protect themselves from Schwahn's unwanted attention. They warned new women on the show of his actions, as well as discussing what was happening in private. They were also warned that if people came forward, the show may be cancelled.

E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television, the companies who are behind Schwahn's current show, The Royals, released the following statement on Monday:

“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.”

UPDATE

As of November 15, 2017, Mark Schwahn has been suspended from his scripted drama The Royals.

E! and producers at Lionsgate Television released the following statement Wednesday:

"E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action. Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from The Royals as we continue our investigation."

Production on season four of The Royals wrapped in September and will air as planned next year.


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