Cast and crew members from “One Tree Hill” issued a statement Monday night in support of writer Audrey Wauchope following her allegations on Twitter that she was sexually harassed by showrunner Mark Schwahn.
While she didn’t name him directly, Wauchope wrote a string of tweets over the weekend about herself and her writing partner, Rachel Specter, while they worked on The CW series.
In response, the female stars of the hit show, including Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz, released a joint statement saying they had also been “psychologically and emotionally” by the showrunner, calling it “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 statement read. “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,” it continued.
In her tweets on Saturday, Wauchope said: “Female writers would try to get the spot where the showrunner wouldn’t sit as to not be touched. Often men would help out by sitting next to him, thus protecting the women … 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.