In November, 2017, the passionate fans of One Tree Hill were saddened and shocked when eighteen of the show’s former female cast and crew banded together to expose the sexual harassment they experienced from the show’s creator and showrunner Mark Schwahn.
Among those who signed the letter were stars Hilarie Burton, Daneel Ackles, and Sophia Bush and while Burton and Ackles detailed some of their experiences, Bush offered support but did not detail any experiences of her own, until now.
On a recent episode of Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM radio show, Andy Cohen Live, the actress spoke out about what it was really like to work on the beloved teen drama for nine seasons. “We’re not the only group of girls that’s ever had a boss who was a pig,” Bush said. “That show for us was very interesting because at times it was wonderful and at times it really wasn’t. Our writers’ room was in L.A., so we had plenty of time where he [Schwahn] wasn’t on set.… We had great highlight-reel, coming-of-age, rom-com s–t together, and then we also had like, batten down the hatches, he’s coming.”
Bush then explained one experience she had with Schwahn in which he groped her. “The first time Mark Schwahn grabbed my ass, I hit him in front of six other producers, and I hit him f—ing hard.” She went on to reveal that years later, Schwahn was incredibly angry by her reaction, telling other producers, “That f–king entitled b–ch, who does she thing she is?” From that point on, Bush said, he knew to stay away from her. That being said, “You heard comments,” she continued. “We knew about things he’d say to people, we knew about, like, the late-night texts, we knew when he was super-obsessed with one girl on our show that he started trying to bang down her hotel room door in the middle of the night. She had to be moved, her rooms were moved. And then her boyfriend came and stayed with her the next month and literally, like, it almost came to fisticuffs between the two of them.”
She added, “You’re a kid who is trying to figure out how to protect my friends, but also I don’t want to lose my job, I don’t want everyone on the crew to lose their jobs.” Bush said she gets more infuriated when people would always say, “Why don’t you just leave,” as if it were that simple. “Why am I supposed to suffer and kill my own career because somebody else can’t keep their dick in their pants?” She added, “Second of all, there is a whole crew that people don’t know about […] It’s not fair to make everybody suffer because one person can’t rein their entitlement in,” she said.
After the One Tree Hill women came forward, it didn’t take long before several of the women working on Schwahn’s most recent show, The Royals, also came forward to reveal he had been harassing them as well, which led to his firing.