Former cast and crew members of the hit CW show “One Tree Hill” have come forward to accuse showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment and back up the claims made by writer Audrey Wauchope.
Over the weekend, Wauchope tweeted a series of messages detailing the sexual harassment she said staffers were subjected to during her tenure on the series. She didn’t reveal Schwahn’s name, but attributed the actions to the showrunner she worked with on her first job as a staff writer.
Moving on. The staff sat on couches. Female writers would try to get the spot where the showrunner wouldn't sit as to not be touched. Often men would help out by sitting next to him, thus protecting the women.— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017
Sometimes we wouldn't luck out and he'd just squeeze his disgusting body in between us and put his arms around us, grinning. He pet hair. He massaged shoulders. I know he did more but not to me so they're not my stories to share.— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017
Wauchope also said she decided to come forward with the allegations in light of Warner Bros.′ decision to suspend Andrew Kreisberg, a leading force on some of the network’s biggest television productions, amid sexual harassment allegations.
In a letter published Monday in Variety, 18 former cast and crew members of “One Tree Hill” addressed Schwahn’s alleged behavior:
“Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. 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.”
The letter was signed by all of the show’s female cast members including 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. Crew members who signed included Wauchope, Rachel Specter, Jane Beck, Tarin Squillante, Cristy Koebley and JoJo Stephens.
“I am so proud to call these women my family,” Bush wrote in a message posted to her Instagram account. “You cannot imagine.”
Since the letter was published, more women who worked on “One Tree Hill” tweeted messages of support and asked for their names to be added:
Male cast members, including Austin Nichols, James Lafferty, Lee Norris, Stephen Colletti and Bryan Greenberg, also posted messages supporting the women who published the letter:
I stand with all my OTH sisters. We have to change. We have to be better. All of us. This is unacceptable.— AUSTIN NICHOLS (@AustinNichols) November 14, 2017
I want to acknowledge the women of OTH who have penned their letter with deep wounds from a culture unacceptable for anyone, at any age, and in any business.— Stephen Colletti (@StephenColletti) November 14, 2017
I have the utmost respect of your position in righting the wrongs you have endured. I stand for you, for better...
Shocked and saddened to hear what the women of OTH had to endure. I’m proud of them for speaking up. I support them fully. And I hope that their courage to tell the truth, will help put an end to the pervasive culture of harassment in the work place. There’s no place for it.— Bryan Greenberg (@bryangreenberg) November 14, 2017
Schwahn’s current show, “The Royals,” airs on E!
In a statement issued to Variety, E! said it was “monitoring the information carefully,” and emphasized the network’s commitment to providing a safe working environment.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.