'One Tree Hill' Cast and Crew Accuse Showrunner Mark Schwahn of Sexual Harassment

"Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally."

Cast members and crew from One Tree Hill have united to accuse showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment and offer support to former staff writer Audrey Wauchope.

A total of 18 cast and crew members, including stars Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz, signed the letter per Variety. The group wrote that they "have chosen this forum to stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another” following statements in which Wauchope accused Schwahn of harassment without naming him.

“Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally," the letter reads. "More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress. 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. Many of us were spoken to in ways that ran the spectrum from deeply upsetting, to traumatizing, to downright illegal. 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."


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In a series of tweets over the weekend, Wauchope did not identify Schwahn by name but discussed a pattern of harassment which she and her writing partner Rachel Specter had experienced on the first show they were hired at as staff writers. This show, Deadline confirms, was One Tree Hill. Wauchope alleged that she was subjected to unwanted touching by the unnamed showrunner, and that she saw the showrunner show off naked photographs of an actress he was dating without the actress' knowledge. A legal representative for Schwahn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Schwahn is currently showrunner on E!'s The Royals, which recently wrapped its fourth season. “We are monitoring the information carefully,” the companies behind that show said in a statement to Deadline. “E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television are committed to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated respectfully and professionally.”

Read the cast and crew's full letter at Variety.

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Emma Dibdin

Emma Dibdin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles who writes about culture, mental health, and true crime. She loves owls, hates cilantro, and can find the queer subtext in literally anything.