In recent days, Hollywood has been in the midst of multiple sex scandals, which began with the dozens of women accusing infamous producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault earlier this year. Since several accusers came out in unison against Weinstein, others in the Hollywood industry have also faced sexual misconduct allegations.
In addition to Weinstein, “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey, “Gossip Girl” actor Ed Westwick, and former actor James Woods are among those who have faced accusations related to sexual harassment. On Monday evening, several actresses also spoke out against television screenwriter Mark Schwahn.
Schwahn is best-known for creating the popular TV series, “One Tree Hill,” but additionally, he created the series “The Royals,” contributed to the movie “Coach Carter,” and others.
Days ago, actress and writer Audrey Wauchope released a series of Tweets that appeared to be targeting Schwahn, although she did not call him out by name. All of the tweets will not be shown on Faith Family America due to foul language, but in hindsight, Wauchope insisted that women who worked on set were greatly mistreated and only hired because of their looks, not their brains. In her words, the work environment was toxic and she wants women in similar positions to know that long-term psychological effects are possible and "what they are feeling is real."
On Monday night, Variety released a letter submitted by several actresses from the “One Tree Hill” cast, announcing their support for Wauchope. 18 women signed the letter including fellow actresses Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton (who previously accused Ben Affleck of sexual misconduct).
The letter states, “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...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. More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress.”
The women continued, “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.”
Fear of losing their jobs or their show being canceled, they banned together in support of one another, but ultimately kept quiet. “We are all deeply grateful for Audrey’s courage,” the statement ended.
On Tuesday, male cast members from the show also expressed their support. Chad Michael Murray and Lee Norris were among those who released a supportive public statement.
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