The creator of “One Tree Hill” has been accused of sexual harassment by numerous cast members and crew — who claim to have been “manipulated psychologically and emotionally” by him, to the point where some even needed to seek treatment for post-traumatic stress.
Former showrunner Mark Schwahn allegedly engaged in the inappropriate behavior while on the set of the teen drama series, which aired on the WB from 2003 to 2006 and then the CW from 2006 to 2012.
One of the show’s writers, Audrey Wauchope, took to Twitter over the weekend to detail his alleged actions, without actually mentioning him by name.
“He’s a man in a position of power who was allowed to run a television show for years where this behavior continuously went on,” she tweeted. “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.”
On Monday, 18 women who worked on “One Tree Hill” with Wauchope — including stars Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz — came forward and joined her in accusing Schwahn of sexual misconduct.
They claimed in a letter, which was sent to Variety, that some of the stuff the 51-year-old did was so bad, people were forced to seek treatment for PTSD, as a result.
“Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally,” the letter said. “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.”
On Twitter, Wauchope described how she first learned about Schwahn’s sexually deviant ways upon arriving in the “One Tree Hill” writers room.
“When I was 29 my writing partner @RachelSpecter and I were hired as staff writers,” she explained. “To say we were excited was an understatement. To say we left that job demoralized and confused is also an understatement. One of the 1st things we were told was that the show runner hired female writers on the basis of their looks. That’s why you’re here — he wants to f–k you.”
Wauchope continued, “Rachel had been actress previous to writing and was told that he used to talk about her in the room before we were hired. So that’s a safe room to enter as staff writers. Imagine what that does to ones psyche. Imagine feeling for the rest of your career that you’re possibly an imposter – that maybe just maybe you’re only here because you’re a body, not a…
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