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‘One Tree Hill’ Creator Mark Schwahn Accused Of Sexual Harassment

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.

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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.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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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 fuck you.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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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.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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Imagine feeling for the rest of your career that you’re possibly an imposter – that maybe just maybe you’re only here because you’re a body, not a mind. It creeps into your thoughts and keeps you up at night and makes you wonder.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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Moving on. The 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.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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Sometimes we wouldn’t luck out and 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.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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Ever since then I just state “I don’t like to be touched.” This often makes me sound angry or not warm. It’s just that I don’t know anther way to make it clear I don’t enjoy your unwanted touch.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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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

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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Moving on. The day before my writing partner left for her wedding he closed the door of his office and asked her if she really wanted to go through with it. Maybe he could have a shot? Hahahaha we said. That’s crazy. He’s crazy. NO. He’s abusive.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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Moving on. The day the studio lawyers came to give the sexual harassment seminar many of us had pointed questions we were going to ask. This will be the time we can speak and he will know we know! Guess who didn’t show up?

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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That’s right. The show runner did not attend the mandatory sexual harassment meeting. I don’t blame the studio, I doubt they knew. I blame a system that allows one person to have so much power they can do whatever they want.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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I’m furious and sad and everything else for the women who have sat on that couch next to that man. And I’m furious and sad and everything else that years later I don’t feel safe to be able to do anything real about this and that it seems to be happening all over this town.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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I write all this to say that there are trickle down psychological effects to all this bullshit and the town is littered with the collateral damage of abusers who have been given free reign. If you’re sitting on one of these staffs please know whatever you are feeling is real.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

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I forgot we were staff writers on 2 shows. In the absense of a name I don’t want to implicate the good ones. The men of Cougartown are aces.

— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017

Here are the tweets from former OTH female cast members:

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Burn it down, sis. Love your bravery. I back your play 100%. Let’s talk. Xo

— Hilarie Burton (@HilarieBurton) November 13, 2017

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Thank you @audreyalison ?✊?

— Bethany Joy Lenz (@BethanyJoyLenz) November 13, 2017

Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.




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