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. To use terminology that has become familiar as thesystemic 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. 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.
The through line in all of this was, and still is, our unwavering support of and faith in one another. We confided in each other. We set up safe spaces to talk about his behavior and how to handle it. To warn new women who joined our ranks. We understood that a lot of it was orchestrated in ways that kept it out of sight for the studio back home. We also understood that no one was fully unaware. The lack of action that has been routine, the turning of the other cheek, is intolerable. We collectively want to echo the calls of women everywhere that vehemently demand change, in all industries.
Many of us were told, during filming, that coming forward to talk about this culture would result in our show being canceled and hundreds of lovely, qualified, hard-working, and talented people losing their jobs. This is not an appropriate amount of pressure to put on young girls. Many of us since have stayed silent publicly but had very open channels of communication in our friend group and in our industry, because we want Tree Hill to remain the place “where everything’s better and everything’s safe” for our fans; some of whom have said that the show quite literally saved their lives. But the reality is, no space is safe when it has an underlying and infectious cancer. We have worked at taking our power back, making the conventions our own, and relishing in the good memories. But there is more work to be done.
We are all deeply grateful for Audrey’s courage. For one another. And for every male cast mate and crew member who has reached out to our group of women to offer their support these last few days. They echo the greater rallying cry that must lead us to change: Believe Women. We are all in this together.
With Love and Courage,
Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Danneel Harris, Michaela McManus, Kate Voegele, Daphne Zuniga, India DeBeaufort, Bevin Prince, Jana Kramer, Shantel Van Santen, and Allison Munn
Wow, so all those times Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz have said they don’t miss working on OTH and how they don’t want to talk about OTH behind the scenes drama makes so much more sense now. It sucks that these three had to go through this, it honestly breaks my heart. I just want people to know that these badass ladies are what made the show and that we should keep loving it and supporting it because of all the hard work they put into it. As for Mark Schwan…he can just fuck off. To quote my queen Hilarie Burton Burn it down sis and to quote the amazing Sophia Bush, Fuck your sorry!
Friendly reminder that the female stars of OTH have accused their showrunner of sexually harassing the cast/crew after years of being told “telling people this would end your career”. They are also being backed by thousands (including the male stars)
As someone who loved this show (and still does) I am proud to call them my role models
Oh my I'm looking through Twitter but I'm so bad at it, what did Mark do? Is he an abuser? Could you just explain what happened because I'm just too angry to look peacefully through the tweets I probably missed
Okay basically on twitter this writer named Audrey Wauchope
started tweeting about how her and this other writer named Rachel Specter were
hired to write for this show and the show runner was basically a piece of shit
trash can that would talk about girls in a demeaning way while they were still in
the room, would say inappropriate things to girls, would touch them
inappropriately, and was basically just garbage. She also shared a story about
how this show runner was dating an actress at one point and that he would share
her nudes (without her permission) with everyone and apparently, he’s done even
more horrible things that she doesn’t feel comfortable sharing because it’s not
her story to tell.
Anyways, some fan I guess did some detective work and realized
that the show runner this girl had to have been talking about was Mark Schwahn
because Audrey and Rachel only worked on two shows together as writers, and
Audrey already confirmed that she had no problems with/loved the show runner of
the other show. Plus, Sophia Bush and
Hilarie Burton immediately tweeted her back saying how they support her and are
with her 100%. And later that night BJL tweeted her saying thank you. Soph and
Hil also liked a ton of posts about how it was the cast that brought the
characters to life and that it was them who made the show what it is and how
Mark had nothing to do with it, which basically 100% confirmed what everyone
already knew…which was that the show runner Audrey was talking about was clearly
Mark. So none of the three girls came out and said anything directly about what
Mark has said/done to them but by the way they’re tweeting and liking comments
it’s not hard to put two and two together and figure out that they suffered
some kind of abuse because of him (obviously we don’t know the extent and can’t
judge either, but yeah).
It also explains why Sophia Bush and BJL both said they don’t
miss working on OTH. And why Hilarie Burton always avoided questions about Mark
Schwan and said she didn’t like talking about her leaving OTH/not returning because
there was a lot of backstage drama we didn’t know about. It honestly just explains
why all the girls seem to love their character and love the show, but always
get weird when they’re asked about their time on the show or whether they would
like to return, etc etc.
It has been incredibly shocking to read about this, but, as many people pointed out, what the show stands for doesn’t change for me. I truly believe it tells one of the most brilliant stories about growing up and even though I have absolutely no respect left for Mark Schwahn and hope that he will be held responsibile for his horrible actions, I still love the show and the actors that worked so passionately on it for so long, despite the circumstances. So, instead of remembering Schwahn, let us remember Brooke Davis and Peyton Sawyer and Haley James Scott, let us remember the way Sophia and Hilarie and Bethany and Daneel worked hard and made these characters their own and showed us what it’s like to be a young girl growing up in this world. Let us remember them, let us make One Tree Hill theirs, like it should have been.
All the cast and the crew have proved that despite the hardships they went through, they love Tree Hill as well. I’m thankful they decided to adress this because Schawhn shouldn’t get away with it. I guess a thank you is mandatory –and heartfelt, for Sophia and Hilarie and Bethany and Daneel and all the other women that put their souls into the show and loved it with every fiber of their being, despite everything. It has a special place in my heart and always will. Tree Hill’s home.