Martha Reeves and The Vandrellas hit single 'Nowhere to Run' is getting a lot of play in Hollywood these days, as no one seems capable of escaping their sordid past when it comes to sexual misdeeds carried out against others in the workforce. We've recently seen a wide net cast over these sexual predators, high profile individuals in the industry who are losing everything as more and more women step forward. Today, the cast and crew of The CW hit series One Tree Hill, which premiered in 2003 and ran until 2012, have come out against showrunner Mark Schwahn in a show of support for one another.
The cast and crew united to write a long letter against Mark Schwahn in highlighting the pain and suffering he caused on set, which was aimed mostly at their former colleague Audrey Alison Wauchope. Stars taking a stand include Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz. Their letter announces why they have chosen this forum to stand up for Wauchope, who was a former writer on the series. She went on Twitter this past Saturday to accuse Schwahn of misconduct in the workplace.
The letter goes onto share the stories of 18 women who worked on the show, all of whom claim to have been affected by Schwahn's actions to some degree. They explain that they were manipulated both 'psychologically and emotionally'. More than one of the individuals explains that they are in treatment for post-traumatic stress. Many of the crew were put in uncomfortable situations. They claim that they all had to learn how to fight back, sometimes physically, because it was clear that the supervisors on the show weren't doing anything to stop this behavior.
Audrey Wauchope recounted a lot of unwanted touching from Schwahn in her Twitter posts. At the time, she did not identify the showrunner by name. It's said that Schwahn liked to show off naked pictures of an actress he was having sexual relations with, all without the actress' knowledge. At one point, Schwahn is accused of calling Wauchope's writing partner into his office, where he tried to talk the woman out of getting married so that she could date him instead. Wauchope went onto say this.
"I'm furious and sad and everything else for the women who have sat on that couch next to that man. And I'm furious and sad and everything else that years later I don't feel safe to be able to do anything real about this and that it seems to be happening all over this town."
One Tree Hill was The CW show that would never die. It actually became a running joke amongst the cast with the show first airing on the now defunct WB Network in 2003 to 2006, with it jumping over to The CW in 2006, running for another 6 years until 2012. Schwahn is created with creating this teen drama about a group of young men and women trying to circumnavigate their love lives in North Carolina. Schwahn served as the show runner for the entire 8 season run.
E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television, the company behind Schwahn's current series The Royals issued this statement.
"We are monitoring the information carefully. E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television are committed to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated respectfully and professionally."
The letter from the One Tree Hill cast and crew details why they have all chosen to step forward and support Wauchope's claims.
"To Whom It May Concern...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 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. 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 team behind the show go onto explain that they will stand up for one another no matter what is exposed about Mark Schwahn, and they won't waver in their determination to see justice brought down on the man.
"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."
They further go onto champion Audrey's courage for coming forward with this information and sharing it with the world.
"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, the Cast, 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. And Brave Crew, Audrey Wauchope, Rachel Specter, Jane Beck, Tarin Squillante, Cristy Koebley, JoJo Stephens. And All the rest of the Women We Worked With Who Are Finding Their Voices as We Speak."
You can check out some of the tweets in relation to this latest case of sexual harassment in Hollywood. The new hashtag #fuckyoursorry has been gaining popularity in regards to some of the statements made by recent accused sex offenders including Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey, whose apologies have been lambasted in the press for being inappropriate and pulling too much attention towards the abuser and away from the victim. This report comes to us from Variety.