One Tree Hill’s Mark Schwahn Sexual Misconduct Scandal: 10 Shocking Revelations
In an ever-growing list of powerful people in Hollywood being accused of sexual harrasment, assault or misconduct, one of the most shocking was One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn. On November 11, former One Tree Hill writer Audrey Wauchope took to her Twitter to expose Schwahn and since then many of the cast and crew involved in the show have come forward, sharing their stories and offering support. In a very short period of time, a lot has come out about the scandal, so here are 9 new revelations and everything you need to know about the Mark Schwahn scandal:
10. Audrey Wauchope’s Story
The entire scandal began on November 11, when TV writer Audrey Wauchope took to her Twitter account to share a lengthy thread in which she exposed the harassment and misconduct she had to deal with during one of her first writing jobs with her writing partner Rachel Specter. Although she did not name names of either the show or the showrunner she was writing about, it quickly became clear it was One Tree Hill and Mark Schwahn after she outright said, “I forgot we were staff writers on 2 shows. In the absence of a name I don’t want to implicate the good ones. The men of Cougartown are aces.” She began her story with, “In light of the Andrew Kreisberg reporting, a couple thoughts about my first writing job that I’ve wanted to say for years but have never had the guts to. When I was 29 my writing partner @RachelSpecter and I were hired as staff writers.” She continued, “To say we were excited was an understatement. To say we left that job demoralized and confused is also an understatement. One of the 1st things we were told was that the showrunner hired female writers on the basis of their looks. That’s why you’re here – he wants to f–k you. Rachel had been actress previous to writing and was told that he used to talk about her in the room before we were hired. So that’s a safe room to enter as staff writers. Imagine what that does to ones psyche.” Wauchope also shared further disturbing incidents that occurred behind the scenes, “Moving on. Men on staff were shown naked photos of on an actress he was having an affair with. Naked photos she didn’t know were being passed around . Naked photos they didn’t want to see. This is such a violation,both to the actress and to the men forced to look and participate.” Her full account can be read here.
9. Star Support
Immediately following Wauchope’s twitter thread and it had been determined that she was talking about Mark Schwahn and One Tree Hill, several of the show’s female stars came forward to offer their support, confirming her story. One of the first was Sophia Bush, known as Brooke Davis on the show, who tweeted, “For the record. I stand with Audrey. @audreyalison #BurnItDownSis. And to the bad guys? Yeah. #FuckYourSorry cc @HilarieBurton.” Burton, who portrayed Peyton Sawyer, then quickly retweeted the message and Bethany Joy Lenz, who played Haley James Scott, tweeted, “Thank you @audreyalison.” Before long fans began to question why they didn’t tell their story, and Sophia Bush replied, “I have the courage. I’m just taking a tip from Uma Thurman and waiting for my rage to burn off a little bit before I choose to share more than a few words. Thank you for the support.”
8. Hilarie Burton’s Post
After it became clear that the women of One Tree Hill were not going to stay silent any longer, fans began to notice that there had been hints at what they had gone through while working with Schwahn, including one very telling one from Hilarie Burton. In mid-October the actress took to her social media to support everyone coming forward with their sexual harassment stories under the hashtag “MeToo” and posted a photo of her hand with the words written on it along with the caption, “It leaves a mark. #metoo.” Looking back on the post, one fan wrote, “It leaves a mark. Was she trying to tell us?” questioning Burton’s use of the word “mark” in relation to Mark Schwahn, and Burton replied, “I chose my words carefully. Xo.”
7. The Letter
Hours after Wauchope’s story broke and much of the cast had offered their support, it became clear what Sophia Bush meant when she said she was, “waiting for my rage to burn off a little bit before I choose to share more than a few words.” Sixteen women who worked on One Tree Hill including stars Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Daneel Harris, Kate Voegele and many more came together to release a letter via Variety which detailed their story and why they stayed silent.
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 thesystemic 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 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.
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,
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
6. Male Cast Support
Following the initial wave of support from the female cast and crew of One Tree Hill, it didn’t take long for many of the male stars to speak out as well. James Lafferty, best known as Nathan Scott, shared a passionate note on his Twitter account, stating in part, “I applaud every woman on OTH, every woman on earth, who stands up to a system that has failed them in the past and in this moment. I stand with them.” In response to his message, Bush wrote, “I love and appreciate you, bud. Thank you,” and Bethany Joy Lenz wrote, “Love you, James. Thank you brother.” Austin Nichols, who portrayed Bush’s on-screen husband Julian Baker, wrote, “I stand with all my OTH sisters. We have to change. We have to be better. All of us. This is unacceptable.” In response, Bush wrote, “Thank you for being one of the good ones, Austin. All love. #BurnItDownSis.” Bush also shared a message from her longtime co-star Lee Norris who played Marvin “Mouth” McFadden, after he wrote, “My female friends in the cast and crew of OTH are smart, articulate women, and they are more than capable of speaking for themselves. These are not my stories to tell, but I wanted to voice my complete support for them. I love them all and admire their strength in speaking out. I’ve offered my support to many of them privately, but I feel that it’s important for me to do so publicly as well.” Other male co-stars who spoke out with their support include Bryan Greenberg, Michael Grubbs, Robert Buckley, Stephen Colletti, and Antwon Tanner. Chad Michael Murray, also retweeted Hilarie Burton’s tweet which read, “I have been angry for a decade. Today, my sisters take back what was rightfully ours. #burnitdownsis #fuckyoursorry,” and released his own statement of support.
5. E!’s Response
As more and more came to light about Schwahn’s misconduct towards many of the women on set, fans called for E! to pull him off of his current drama The Royals which is heading into its fourth season. In response to the onslaught of allegations and as the scandal continues to rise, E! released a statement, reading, “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.”
4. India de Beaufort’s Story
Along with the letter sent out by the cast and crew, some of the stars have shared their individual stories including India de Beaufort who starred as Miranda Stone through 12 episodes in season seven. The actress took to her Twitter to detail some of her experiences with Schwahn which included inappropritae texts and him purposefully writing scenes with her in her underwear. “Didn’t love getting a text from a married show runner in the middle of the night asking me 2come over 2his beach house. He wrote me in2 my underwear. I heard he got mad when I got close 2male actors + later told 1 of those actors he wrote me out because of my lack of ‘loyalty.'” She continued, “I’d also like to add my husband was standing in video village the day I was in my underwear. One of the producers referred to a male actor on the show and loudly said ‘bet ***** wishes he hadn’t missed this.’ My husband was standing right there. We get so little respect.” de Beaufort continued to tell her story, stating that although there was sexual harassment training, there was no support.
3. Fan’s Response
It is not news that fans of One Tree Hill have and always be will one of the most passionate and loyal fanbases out there, and they too have brought up some important points about how to feel about One Tree Hill moving forward. As the women explained in their letter, they still want people to love the show when they wrote, “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.” Fans have encouraged each other to support the stars as they come forward with their stories, but not to take away from the show because of Schwahn’s conduct behind the scenes. As one fan wrote, it was the wonderful women who brought us the powerful characters that were Brooke Davis, Peyton Sawyer, Haley James Scott, and so many more.
2. Stars Speaking Out
Now that the letter has been released, many are still continuing to speak out including Bethany Joy Lenz who has been very active on Twitter, writing, “What a long time coming. Your deeds will truly find you out in the end. I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak up in a time when change is possible. There is still more to say but for this moment, we thank you for your support.” Lenz later offered another message which reads: “I also think it’s important to acknowledge that everyone is human. Sometimes great success is the worst thing that can happen to a person. The only way to really change is to be broken and humbled and I think that can be the best thing to happen to someone. We all have flaws. We all fall short. I believe in change. I believe in rehabiliation. And I believe there is still good inside most people who have wandered far off the right path. I hope these revelations don’t bring despair to all those who’s deeds are exposed in this time, but that courage, light, growth, change and renewal conquer in the end.” Other One Tree Hill stars have also come forward with their support including Torrey DeVitto, who played Nanny Carrie. She retweeted a story about the scandal and added, “I never thought this day would come. I stand w u all. Add my name 2 the list. This norm is OVER! #ItEndsHere&Now.”
1. Kate Voegele’s Song
One of the biggest revelations to come from Mark Schwahn’s sexual misconduct scandal is yet to come in full. Singer and actress Kate Voegele, who starred as Mia Catalono, through several seasons of One Tree Hill, released a clip from her upcoming song which seems to be about what she went through as a female working on Schwahn’s set. “Finished this a few weeks ago in the studio, writing music has always been my therapy. #metoo #shootthisarrow,” she wrote alongside the clip from the song which includes lyrics such as “You see here’s the thing, you were so high above me, get me under your thumb / You broke all the rules and told me to hold my tongue / Well you’ve had your fun and I’m officially done playing along / I hope your sinking in your boots wondering when I’m gonna shoot this arrow cuz after all you put me through gotta set the record straight and narrow.” Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, India de Beaufort, Daneel Harris and many other former One Tree Hill stars have all shared Voegele’s post in support of the song.