And it wasn't just their careers that were allegedly threatened - according to the letter, the women also claim they were told that if they told anyone what allegedly went on between them and Schwahn, they'd be putting the show's future at risk, which could jeopardize the livelihood of the entire cast and crew.
Schwann is now working on The Royals and E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television, the companies behind the show, said in a statement on Monday that they "are monitoring the information carefully". And after Wauchope shared her claims, they felt compelled to "stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another". Often men would help out by sitting next to him, thus protecting the women", Wauchopetweeted before adding, "he'd just squeeze his disgusting body in between us and put his arms around us, grinning.
One Tree Hill ran for 9 seasons from 2003 to 2012, and hearing these horrific stories knowing that countless women who worked on the show had to endure this treatment is sickening. "We also understood that no one was fully unaware [of what was happening on the set]", they continued.
"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, '" the letter said. The lack of action that has been routine, the turning of the other cheek, is intolerable.
The women came forward after One Tree Hill staff writer Audrey Wauchope detailed sexual harassment by an unnamed showrunner on Twitter Sunday. "But there is more work to be done", the statement further read.
In an unprecedented show of unity on a television series or movie, almost all of the show's core cast-as well as some crew members-have shown support for the female cast and crew after the letter was published. "We collectively want to echo the calls of women everywhere that vehemently demand change, in all industries". "I know he did more but not to me so they're not my stories to share".
Two days later, fearless women from the cast and crew of OTH published an open letter in Variety naming Mark as an abuser. We are all in this together.
The other women who co-signed the letter include Bethany Joy Lenz, Danneel Harris, Michaela McManus, Kate Voegele, Daphne Zuniga, India de Beaufort, Bevin Prince, Jana Kramer, Shantel Van Santen, Allison Munn, Rachel Specter, Cristy Koebley, JoJo Stephens, Jane Beck and Tarin Squillante.
Bush, Burton and Lenz all responded to Wauchope, praising her bravery for speaking out, leading to Twitter users to suspect the showrunner was Schwahn. "E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television are focused on giving a protected workplace in which everybody is dealt with deferentially and professionally".
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