Former One Tree Hill staff writer Audrey Wauchope came forward to accuse ex showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual misconduct, and now the popular show's cast members and crew have come out to support her claims.
"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," read the cast's statement to Variety.
"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."
As RadarOnline.com has learned, the message comes days after Wauchope accused Schwahn, 51, of his allegedly sick sex acts during an explosive Twitter rant.
Continued the message: "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."
The shocking statement was written and supported by all cast and crew members of the popular show. Actresses Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton also voiced their concern over the matter over Twitter, praising Wauchope for speaking out.
"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," continued the statement.
In her accusation, Wauchope claimed that the former executive producer would only hire women because he wanted to "f**k" them. She said it was horrible to feel like you were being given a job for your body rather than your mind. She also said that he would have girls sit on the couch next to him so he would inappropriately massage them and put his arms around them.
"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," concluded the statement.
This Monday, after the One Tree Hill cast and crew hared their message, E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television — the companies behind Schwahn's current show, also spoke out, saying they were investigating the matt and would take the necessary actions to keep their employees safe.
"I write all this to say that there are trickle down psychological effects to all this bulls**t and the town is littered with the collateral damage of abusers who have been given free reign. If you're sitting on one of these staffs please know whatever you are feeling is real," wrote Audrey Wauchope in her Twitter statement.
Mark Schwahn has yet to comment on the brutal claims
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