The cast and crew of the drama series “One Tree Hill” also express their support for Audrey Wauchope, a former employee, in a letter accusing former showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment.
Wauchope stated that she and her writing partner had endured sexual harassment, including improper touches and remarks, while working on the show without directly citing Schwahn.
Additionally, she alleged that the showrunner had shown n-ked images of an actress with whom he was having an affair to members of the staff.
Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz, among other female cast members of the well-liked show, asserted that the showrunner also mistreated them “psychologically and emotionally,” calling it “an open scandal.”
The women in his employ felt threatened and had to be ready to defend themselves physically from Schwahn’s alleged advances when supervisors “were not the protectors they were meant to be.”
Many of us were psychologically and emotionally manipulated to varied degrees. More than one of us is still receiving post-traumatic stress disorder treatment. It was made plain to many of us that the supervisors in the room were not the guardians they were meant to be, and we had to quickly learn to fight back, sometimes literally. Many of us experienced communication that ranged from profoundly distressing to traumatising to outright criminal.
According to Wauchope’s tweets, female writers would try to sit where the showrunner wouldn’t be so they wouldn’t be touched. Men would frequently assist by sitting next to him and shielding the women. He would simply press his repulsive body between us and embrace us while beaming. He stroked the hair. He stroked his shoulders. I’m aware that he did other things, but not to me, so those are not my stories to tell.
I’m upset for the ladies who have sat on that couch next to that man, she continued, as well as “sad, angry, and everything else.” And I’m angry, sad, and upset about the fact that I don’t feel secure enough to take effective action years later.
I forgot we were staff writers on two shows, Wauchope continued. Without a name, I don’t want to accuse the decent people. The Cougartown dudes are top notch.
In a toxic workplace where “guys on staff were shown n-ked images of on an actress [the showrunner] was having an affair,” according to Wauchope, she and Specter were subjected to unwanted touching, innuendo, and harassment, Wauchope believes she and Specter were harassed. She was unaware that certain images were being circulated. They didn’t want to see the pictures.
“One Tree Hill,” an adolescent drama about several young people growing up in North Carolina, aired on the WB from 2003 to 2006 and the CW from 2006 to 2012. Schwahn was the series’ creator.
Later, Schwahn, who spent the entire eight years with the teen drama, contributed to “The Royals” on E!
A representative for that network told TheWrap, “We are actively watching the information.” “E!, Universal Cable Productions, and Lionsgate Television are committed to fostering a culture of safety and professionalism among all employees.”
Including Bush, Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Danneel Harris, Michaela McManus, Kate Voegele, Daphne Zuniga, India DeBeaufort, Bevin Prince, Jana Kramer, Shantel Van Santen, Allison Munn, and the “brave crew,” which also included Wauchope and Rachel Specter, the letter was signed by a total of 18 members of the cast and crew.