‘One Tree Hill’ Creator Mark Schwahn Allegedly Sexually Harassed Women On Set: They’re Talking & I Am Furious

UPDATE: One Tree Hill cast and crew members have released a letter of support for Audrey Wauchope, publicly accusing Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment.

“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,” reads a portion of the open letter. The letter was released to Variety and signed by cast members Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Danneel Harris, Michaela McManus, Kate Voegele, Daphne Zuniga, India de Beaufort, Bevin Prince, Jana Kramer, Shantel Van Santen, Allison Munn, and crew members Audrey Wauchope, Rachel Specter, Jane Beck, Tarin Squillante, Cristy Koebley, JoJo Stephens.

PREVIOUSLY: Over the past 48 hours, One Tree Hill fans have been expressing anger, disgust, and disappointment at series creator Mark Schwahn in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct. For those who don’t know, the story began over the weekend, following the news that The Flash executive producer Andrew Kreisberg was being investigated for sexual harassment in the workplace, specifically with regards to his conduct in the writers’ room. After the news broke, Audrey Wauchope, currently a writer on The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, took to twitter on Saturday, Nov. 11, to share her personal experience with sexual harassment behind the scenes at one of her first jobs as a staff writer. Wauchope did not specifically name One Tree Hill as the show she was working on when the harassment occurred; however, she did note that she was not talking about her job on Cougar Town, and, save for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, OTH is the only other show on her IMDB page, so fans quickly figured it out.

In her lengthy Twitter thread — that I suggest everyone go out and read — Wauchope details a culture of fear and misogyny fostered by “the showrunner,” writing, “Female writers would try to get the spot where the showrunner wouldn’t sit as to not be touched.”

She added that he passed around naked photos of an actress he claimed to be having an affair with without her consent, and revealed that the showrunner was noticeably absent from a mandatory sexual harassment training meeting. “I’m furious and sad and everything else for the women who have sat on the 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,” Wauchope wrote.

The next day, OTH star Hilarie Burton (Peyton) tweeted her support to Wauchope, replying, “Burn it down, sis. Love your bravery. I back your play 100%. Let’s talk. Xo.” This tweet, as well as tweets of support from co-stars Sophia Bush (Brooke) and Bethany Joy Lenz (Haley) seem to confirm that Wauchope was, indeed, writing about her experience at OTH.

Since then, fellow OTH actresses Kate Voegele (Mia), Allison Munn (Lauren), Michaela McManus (Lindsey), and India de Beaufort (Miranda), have all tweeted out their support. Beaufort even shared her own story of on set harassment, though it’s unclear whether she was speaking of her time on One Tree Hill. Vogele also shared a personal experience — again, not specifically calling out Schwahn. She posted a tease for a new song, presumably called “Shoot This Arrow,” with the caption “finished this a few weeks ago in the studio. writing music has always been my therapy. #metoo #newmusicpreview #shootthisarrow [sic].” Most of the actresses noted above and Wauchope have responded to the song on social media.

Listening to the song (assuming it is about OTH and Schwahn) it’s clear Voegele is firing a warning shot: Schwahn’s time is up, and it’s his turn to be exposed.

More than rumors of harassment, recent Twitter activity has made it abundantly clear that Schwahn’s behavior likely had something to do with Burton’s exit from the show. Burton has been liking tweets from fans, seemingly confirming the theory that she left because of Schwahn’s harassment. She retweeted this tweet from a fan, linking Burton’s departure from the series to the new allegations of harassment. (Note: nothing has been explicitly confirmed, and these are all simply allegations.)

These are a few of the tweets she’s liked:

She even slyly confirmed that her #MeToo post on Instagram from Oct. 16, captioned “It leaves a mark,” was directed at Schwahn, telling a fan who asked, “I chose my words carefully.”

The fact that Schwahn’s *alleged* behavior was so toxic that it drove away one of the series’ main stars is infuriating, and completely unacceptable. For fans, it’s a betrayal — to the characters they invested in and the love they gave to the show.

Let me be clear: I 100% believe Wauchope, and the way that the actresses of One Tree Hill have been rallying to support each other on social media makes me inclined to add that I believe them too. It might seem like I’m jumping to conclusions, but all the evidence points to Schwahn being guilty of creating a hostile work environment for women on the set of OTH.

Schwahn, who is currently acting as showrunner on E!’s Royals, has yet to respond to the rumblings on Twitter (he is conveniently not on the social media platform), but E! has. “We are monitoring the information carefully,” a spokesman for the network told Us Weekly in a statement. This story is only going to get bigger. Schwahn will be forced to respond, and, with any luck, he will be held accountable as women continue to speak out. I also hope that some of the male stars of One Tree Hill will also come out to stand by their writers and co-stars. (I’m looking at you, James Lafferty, Chad Michael Murray, and Bryan Greenberg.)

Continue reading “‘One Tree Hill’ Creator Mark Schwahn Allegedly Sexually Harassed Women On Set: They’re Talking & I Am Furious”

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‘The Newsroom’ Recap: NEAL RUN! Hallie, GTFO!

The Newsroom proved once again that Mac and Will are incapable of going 24 hours without debating the purpose of journalism – to report news within accepted guidelines or to protect democracy – in the third season’s second episode, “Run.”

While Will (Jeff Daniels), Mac (Emily Mortimer), Neal (Dev Patel) and Rebecca Halliday (Marcia Gay Harden) were arguing about whether or not it’s a journalist’s job to sacrifice his or her freedom to inform the electorate and ensure a working democracy (aka, Mac’s journalistic call of duty), Reese (Chris Messina) was stuck in the conference room with his younger half-siblings: twins Blair (Kat Dennings) and Randy, who are planning to take over the family company after their 25th birthday.

It’s clear from the very first scene that Blair is the brains of the operations and Randy is just along for the ride. Blair is more than willing to go toe to toe with Reese, and she is clearly holding onto some ancient family grudge against Reese and his mother. She’s going to share her and her brother’s shares of ACN to another company, that will then own a controlling interest in ACN and likely dismantle it and sell it off in parts. Reese and Charlie (Sam Waterston) both try to reason with Blair and Randy, but it’s useless until Leona (Jane Fonda) arrives. Leona breezes in and cuts to the chase: if what Blair and Randy want is money, she’s willing to pay two dollars more per share than the rival company, and she’ll get them the money before their birthday. Now we have a new problem: Leona needs to raise $4 billion in 10 days or the company is lost.

Continue reading “‘The Newsroom’ Recap: NEAL RUN! Hallie, GTFO!”

OUAT 2.02 Recap at tvforfreaks.com

Hey everyone!

Don’t forget to check out my Once Upon A Time recap at TV For Freaks!  Remember, please feel free to post in the comments if you want to discuss the episode.

It was a pretty great episode, that focused on Charming and Regina, as the two struggled to make their place in a magical Storybrooke.  Definitely not an episode you want to miss!

‘Partners’ — The New Show I’ll Be Watching Tonight

 

Partners, the new sitcom from the creators of Will & Grace, premieres tonight at 8:30 on CBS.  The show follows the ups and downs of two best friends, Joe and Louis, as they try to balance their intense friendship and business partnership while trying to sustain serious romantic relationships of their own.  The twist? Joe (played by Numb3rs star David Krumholtz) is straight, and Louis (played by Ugly Betty‘s Michael Urie).  The promos for the show don’t exactly promise anything particularly innovative; the real draw here is the cast.

I have been waiting for Michael Urie to return to TV ever since Ugly Betty was cancelled in 2010.  As fashion assistant/snarky bully, Mark St. James, Michael Urie provided the show with some of it’s funniest, and most touching, moments.  The show also stars Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), as Louis’ boyfriend, and Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill) as Joe’s girlfriend, Ali.

The show’s success will depend on how engaging and charming the leads can be.  And, though it might not be earth-shattering, I think the actors can make it into something worth watching. Will you be watching?  Need an extra push?  Check out the video below to hear Michael Urie and Sophia Bush sing a song about their new show!

Now, let’s just hope the show lives up to the awesomeness of that video.

‘Go On’ Will…Go On? Maybe.

Go On‘ marks this year’s Matthew Perry television comeback.  Hoping to garner more success than Perry’s ‘Mr. Sunshine’ (Cancelled), ‘Go On’ seems to be a comedy grounded less in premise, and more in character.  Perry plays Ryan King, a sports radio star who recently lost his wife in an accident that doubles as a texting-while-driving PSA.  Reeling from his loss,  Ryan is banned from work and forced to attend a grief counseling group.  There, he meets a band of odd characters, all frustrated (and in need of a sarcastic, energetic friend, apparently).

The show, which aired it’s first two episodes Tuesday night on NBC, has a great supporting cast, and Matthew Perry is, as always, charming.  The main problem is the lack of chemistry between Perry and Laura Benanti, who plays the group leader, Lauren Schneider.  The two are supposed to challenge each other and, from what I gathered in the pilot, develop a love-hate relationship while helping the members of the group.  However, their relationship in the pilot felt forced and manufactured–especially when Lauren ended up breaking down with Ryan and admitting that her previous experience consists of being a Weight Watchers group leader.  Hopefully, this is just an unfortunate plot point that the writers needed to get passed in order to come to an established group environment, so that the supporting characters could get more backstory themselves.

The second episode found a better balance between drama and comedy, as a devastatingly lonely Ryan over-stepped in the group and accidentally sent Sonia (played by Sarah Baker) in a downward, cat-collecting spiral.  The episode also focused on George (played by Bill Cobbs), the blind man who was almost declared champion of ‘who’s life is worse’ in the pilot.  The pace and how the writers managed to split time between Sonia and George–and, of course, Ryan–felt natural and made me excited to see more of the other members of the group.  In particular, I cannot wait to see more of Owen (played by former mini-Chris Rock, Tyler James Williams), the youngest member of the group who forms a connection with Ryan in the very first episode.

As to the fate of the show, Continue reading “‘Go On’ Will…Go On? Maybe.”

Let the Battle Begin!

NBC’s golden singing competition kicked off it’s fall season with super-sized ‘blind auditions’ that lasted three whole nights.  As you can see above, the auditions weren’t the only big performances happening Monday night.  The judges jump-started the show’s third season with a performance, during which Adam and Christina not only shared the stage–they shared a mic (Mz. Xtina’s special red mic, in fact)!

This season, each coach (Cee Lo, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Christina Aguilera) will create teams of 16 contestants each before the battle rounds begin, meaning longer blind auditions. After three 2-hour audition episodes, all coaches have some strong contestants, and some so-so contestants too.  Due to the length of these auditions, I won’t bore you with an entire recap.  Instead, I’ll tell you which auditions were the best, and my take on potential winners. Continue reading “Let the Battle Begin!”

So long, Summer TV!

Sad, but true, summer is over.  And, I’m not just saying that because I am now officially back at school.  Most summer TV shows have aired their season finales, leaving me in a desperate state of TV withdrawal while I wait for all the new and returning shows to start this Fall.  So, who were summer TV’s winners and losers (at least in my book)?  Before I get into it, I would like to write a disclaimer: I have NOT yet watched Breaking Bad, True Blood, Game of Thrones, or The KillingYou have been warned… Continue reading “So long, Summer TV!”

The Power of True Love’s Kiss — OUAT 1.22 Recap

Once Upon A Time aired its first season finale, ‘A Land Without Magic’ last night!  So, was Henry saved from a death-like slumber?  Does Emma finally believe and accept her role as the savior?  These questions answered, plus, shifting loyalties abound while Mr. Gold’s secret agenda is partially revealed.  SPOILER ALERT Continue reading “The Power of True Love’s Kiss — OUAT 1.22 Recap”

‘Common Law’ — Hot Cops, Lukewarm Show?

Homicide detectives who find themselves in couples therapy?  It’s a descent premise, but is it believable? And can it remain endearing for more than a few episodes? Well, USA Network’s newest drama, Common Law, which premiered last Friday night, leaves me undecided.

Travis, played by Michael Ealy, is a cocky, slutty homicide detective, who was raised in 18 different foster care homes and has a problem putting his ego aside.  Wes, played by Warren Kole, is his cocky, ex-lawyer partner who likes to play by the rules.  We meet them in their first couples therapy group session with Dr. Ryan, played by Sonya Walger (aka Penny from Lost!).  The two bicker like any television crime-fighting duo would, only the animosity is right on the surface.  The two are avoiding suspension after Wes pulled his gun out when Travis refused to apologize for something by complying with their boss, Captain Sutton (Jack McGee) and seeing a therapist.  Here’s my question: Why are they trying to save the partnership?  Though Captain Sutton declares them his best detectives, it doesn’t feel like enough to keep them together when they could just separate the team and go on in peace. Continue reading “‘Common Law’ — Hot Cops, Lukewarm Show?”

Justin Bieber Returns and the Winner is Announced – This Week on The Voice

Well, folks, that’s it, another season of The Voice is over, and another winner has been crowned?  So, who won the coveted first place prize of a record contract?  I’m going to pull a Carson/Voice finale and make you wait…(So, if you really want to know, just skip to the end).

On Monday night’s performance show, each contestant performed one solo song (the only one that counted as votes if bought on iTunes), one cover of a song by their coach, and one duet with said coach. Starting it off was Team Blake’s Jermaine Paul, singing ‘I Believe I Can Fly’.  As someone who remembers this song as the most mocked pop song on the playground, I was skeptical of the song choice, but, Jermaine Paul gave such an overwhelming performance that Continue reading “Justin Bieber Returns and the Winner is Announced – This Week on The Voice”