Update: One day after The Royals star Alexandra Park accused Mark Schwahn of sexual misconduct, Variety reports that 25 women from the show's cast and crew have signed a statement alleging that Schwahn engaged in "the repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew."
"Where we should have been excited to meet new female cast and crew members, we felt nauseating concern in case they too should have him track down their mobile number. Where we should have offered our friends who auditioned for The Royals scene help and advice, we offered warnings about the man they would meet in the room," the statement reads. "More than all of this, where we should all collectively have felt pride over jobs hard won and roles much loved, we felt undermined as artists and creatives. And in many cases, no more than a sum of body attributes."
Today The Royals star Elizabeth Hurley issued a statement on Twitter that describes an extremely different work environment than the one described by Park and the 25 authors of the statement. Hurley says she wasn't aware that anyone was being abused and expressed sadness that she didn't do anything to stop the alleged harassment.
"I could have helped [Park]. I would have helped her. But I didn’t know. I have never personally felt scared, intimidated, psychologically manipulated or been the recipient of inappropriate behavior in 30 years of making movies and television. This includes my years working closely with Mark Schwahn," Hurley wrote. "Yes, he flirts and tells risqué jokes — but so do I. To hear that there was more than this is a shocking surprise. I never witnessed it. The set of The Royals was a very happy one, full of laughter and fun. Mark was always in the centre of this and it seemed to me that the cast and crew had the most fun when Mark was directing an episode. I feel sick now to hear that people were unhappy at that time and didn’t dare speak up."
Original story was published on November 15, 2017.
Another actress has added her name to the long list of women who have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Mark Schwahn, who is best known for creating One Tree Hill.
"I have a responsibility as someone who was working under Mark Schwahn on 'The Royals' to acknowledge these claims," she wrote. "I am devastated to admit to myself, to my colleagues and to this industry that I too, have been exposed to this reprehensible behavior."
Like others, Park said she's found some solace in knowing that survivors are starting to feel more empowered to share their stories, many of which revolve around a sexual predator in a position of power.
"In the past, people were afraid to come forward in these situations because they were terrified of losing an opportunity so hard to come by, an opportunity that meant so much to them," she wrote. "I am proud and grateful that today, we can take a different path. One that encourages us to stand up to unacceptable, harmful leadership, in faith that the leaders will be removed and replaced. In faith that we will not be penalized for one person's ill behavior."
Her post caught the attention of some of the One Tree Hill actresses behind the explosive open letter, including Hilarie Burton, Sophia Bush, and Bethany Joy Lenz, who shared their gratitude and support.
This situation is undoubtedly horrible, but I can't help but feel moved when I look at Bush's tweet, which reads, "We are all here for you, sister." The feeling of sisterhood and solidarity is infectious, and I can only hope that as more women come forward, we can all follow the OTH alums' example and rally around one another. After all, destroying rape culture demands a team effort.