The creator of hit show One Tree Hill has been accused of sexual harassment by former cast and crew members in a powerful letter.
Eighteen women, including Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz, have pointed the finger at Schwahn in a letter published in Variety on Monday, alleging many had been “manipulated” by the showrunner.
“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 letter begins.
“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.”
The women said they were put in traumatising situations and are still affected by the experience to this day.
“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,” the letter continues. “More than one woman on our show had her career trajectory threatened.”
Last week, former One Tree Hill writer Audrey Wauchope tweeted allegations about a man in a “position in power” on the show responsible for years of inappropriate behavior.
“He’s a man in a position of power who was allowed to run a television show for years where this behaviour continuously went on,” she tweeted.
“Sometimes we wouldn’t luck out and he’d just squeeze his disgusting body in between us and put his arms around us, grinning. He pet hair. He massaged shoulders. I know he did more but not to me so they’re not my stories to share.”