‘One Tree Hill’ cast and crew accuse showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — WWAY first brought you the news about the showrunner of “One Tree Hill” becoming the latest accused of sexual harassment. Now the cast and crew of the show, which was filmed in the Cape Fear, wrote a letter to Variety Magazine confirming it was indeed the creator, Mark Schwahn.

Variety Magazine reports 18 women who worked on the show are accusing Schwann of sexual harassment in the workplace. The cast and crew also offered their support to a former colleague who is speaking out.

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Audrey Wauchope, a former writer on “One Tree Hill”, took to twitter to share her story.

WWAY reported about her allegations on Monday. Wauchope does not name Schwann, but calls him inappropriate and disgusting. She then goes on to say she and others were frequently touched by the showrunner.

WWAY reached out to former “One Tree Hill” actor Cullen Moss to get his reaction about the accusations.

“I know a lot of those women, I respect the hell out of them. I consider many of them friends and I believe them, stand behind them, support them. I never witnesses any of that firsthand but, or you know, if I did I wasn’t aware,” Moss said.

Although Moss said he never witnessed the accused sexual harassment, he is in shock by the allegations.

“It’s awful. I mean nobody should be put in that position and nobody should ever feel threatened in any environment,” Moss said. “In a work environment, that’s supposed to be safe in a professional environment. No one should go into work hoping that somebody is there to block an aggressor.”

WWAY reached out to a representative for Schwahn they did not respond to our request for comment.

Variety Magazine has the letter “One Tree Hill” cast and crew wrote, it reads as follows:

“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 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.” 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,The Cast,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 MunnAnd 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.”

Male co-star James Lafferty tweeted his support of this letter and the women who have come forward.

Another male co-star, Chad Michael Murray, also took to twitter to share his support.