Update: Mark Schwahn has been suspended from his current position as creator and showrunner of The Royals on E!, TVLine.com reports. The move comes after eighteen women from One Tree Hill's cast and crew penned an open letter accusing Schwahn of sexual misconduct.
"E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action. Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from The Royals as we continue our investigation," E!, Universal Cable productions, and Lionsgate Television told Refinery29 in an email statement on Wednesday.
Original story follows.
Update, November 14, 2017, 3:35 p.m. EDT: One Tree Hill's male cast members have voiced their support for their former female costars and writer Audrey Wauchope. Wauchope accused One Tree Hill showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual misconduct. On Tuesday, Chad Michael Murray James Lafferty, Austin Nichols, Antwon Tanner, Stephen Colletti, Robert Buckley, and Michael Grubbs all tweeted messages of support for the women involved with the show.
Update, November 13, 8:15 p.m. EDT: The leading women from One Tree Hill have doubled down on their support of Audrey Wauchope as her allegations against Mark Schwahn make headlines.
Additionally, eighteen women from the show's cast and crew penned an open letter accusing Schwahn of sexual misconduct. "All of the female cast members of One Tree Hill have chosen this forum to stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another," it reads. "To use terminology that has become familiar as the systemic reality of sexual harassment and assault has come more and more to light, Mark Schwahn's behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an 'open secret.' Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally."
This story was originally published on November 13, 2017.
Over the weekend, former One Tree Hill writer Audrey Wauchope posted a lengthy Twitter thread alleging that the show's creator, Mark Schwahn, sexually abused her and her writing partner, Rachel Specter. Wauchope said she was inspired to come forward after Supergirl executive producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended amidst multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
"In light of the Andrew Kreisberg reporting, a couple thoughts about my first writing job that I've wanted to say for years but have never had the guts to. When I was 29 my writing partner @RachelSpecter and I were hired as staff writers," Wauchope tweeted. "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 showrunner hired female writers on the basis of their looks. That's why you're here — he wants to fuck you."
Schwahn has not yet publicly responded to Wauchope's allegation, but the women stars of One Tree Hill quickly rallied around her and Specter to express their support — and it's an inspiring display of solidarity.
Unfortunately, Hilarie Burton is no stranger to sexual misconduct in the industry. In October, she tweeted that Ben Affleck groped her during an appearance on TRL. In response, Affleck admitted that he'd groped Burton and posted an apology to Twitter.
It's worth reading Wauchope's entire Twitter thread because she addresses the long-term impact of the alleged abuse. She describes how the experience made her doubt her talents as a writer and wonder if she really deserved any job she was offered.
"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 mind. It creeps into your thoughts and keeps you up at night and makes you wonder," Wauchope wrote.
It always takes courage to come forward and Wauchope raises important points that will likely resonate with women who have been sexually abused in any industry. Furthermore, Sophia Bush, Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, and Kate Voegele showed exactly how you should respond when a former colleague speaks out about abuse. When a person publicly accuses a powerful man of sexual misconduct, knowing that your colleagues have your back and aren't afraid to say "We believe you" can mean the world.
Refinery29 has reached out to Wauchope and Schwahn for comment.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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