TV writer Audrey Wauchope accused former One Tree Hill creator and showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment during the time she and her writing partner Rachel Specter worked on the CW drama. A number of OTH actresses have since come out to support Wauchope on social media including Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz.
Schwahn is currently creator/showrunner on E!’s popular series The Royals, which recently wrapped production on its fourth season. “We are monitoring the information carefully,” the companies behind the series said in a statement to Deadline. “E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television are committed to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated respectfully and professionally.”
In a series of weekend tweets, Wauchope never identified Schwahn by name but referred to him as the showrunner of the first show she and Specter were hired as staff writers, which was OTH, and sources confirmed to Deadline that she was talking about him.
Wauchope says that the sexual harassment accusations against The Flash and Supergirl showrunner Andrew Kreisberg, which led to his suspension Friday night by Warner Bros TV, the studio behind OTH, prompted her to share the story of how Schwahn hired her and her and Specter for a staff job and then proceeded to make their work lives miserable, leaving them “demoralized and confused.”
Wauchope claims she and Specter were subjected to unwanted touching, innuendo and harassment in a hostile work environment where “men on staff were shown naked photos of on an actress [the showrunner] was having an affair with. Naked photos she didn’t know were being passed around. Naked photos they didn’t want to see.” (You can read the full set of tweets below the post.)
She claims the OTH writing staff “sat on couches. 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. Sometimes we wouldn’t luck out and he’d just squeeze his disgusting body in between us and put his arms around us, grinning,” she added in a follow-up tweet. “He pet hair. He massaged shoulders. I know he did more but not to me so they’re not my stories to share.”
Because Wauchope also never named OTH, to point to the CW drama and Schwahn, she issued a clarification in her last post on the subject. Since she and Specter — who now are writer-producers on the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — had worked on two shows before, OTH and Cougar Town, “In the absense [sic] of a name I don’t want to implicate the good ones. The men of Cougartown [sic] are aces,” she wrote.
Here are all of Wauchope tweets followed by the tweets by Bush, Burton and Lenz.
Here are the tweets from former OTH female cast members:
Thank you @audreyalison ?✊?
— Bethany Joy Lenz (@BethanyJoyLenz) November 13, 2017
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.