Mark Schwahn, leading executive producer of E!'s “The Royals” has been accused of sexual harassment by the cast and crew of his former show “One Tree Hill”, who issued a statement on Monday in support of their colleague, writer Audrey Wauchope.
Without publicly naming Schwahn, Wauchope tweeted Saturday that she and her writing partner were sexually harassed during their time working on the series, including inappropriate touching and comments, and accused the showrunner (Schwahn) of showing naked photos of an actress he was in a relationship with to crewmembers.
Audrey wrote: “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. 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."
In a joint statement, signed by series stars including Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz, the female cast members of “One Tree Hill” backed up Wauchope's claims and alleged Schwahn manipulated many of them "psychologically and emotionally."
The statement 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."
The message also claims cast and crew were spoken to in ways that were "traumatizing" and "downright illegal," and more than one woman had her career threatened while working on the show.
E!, which works with Schwahn on “The Royals”, said in a statement Monday that the network is "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."
Source: Hollywood Reporter