"One Tree Hill" creator Mark Schwahn was suspended from “The Royals” on Wednesday after he was accused of "traumatizing" sexual harassment by more than a dozen actresses and crew members who previously worked with him.
Schwahn, the creator of “The Royals,” was suspended by E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television — the companies supporting the show — as an investigation is being conducted following accusations of sexual misconduct from women who used to work with him.
Alexandra Park, a star on “The Royals,” tweeted Wednesday night she has been “exposed” to Schwahn’s “reprehensible behavior.”
“E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action,” the companies said in a statement to Variety. “Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from ‘The Royals’ as we continue our investigation.”
Production on the fourth season of “The Royals” finished in September, and Season 4 is set to premiere in March.
Park tweeted on Wednesday: “I have a responsibility as someone who was working under Mark Schwahn on The Royals to acknowledge these claims. I am devastated to admit to myself, to my colleagues and to this industry that I too, have been exposed to this reprehensible behavior.
“In the past, people were afraid to come forward in these situations because they were terrified of losing an opportunity so hard to come by, an opportunity that meant so much to them,” she wrote.
Her statement comes two days after 18 women, including Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Danneel Harris, released a joint letter saying they were “to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally” by Schwahn during production of “One Tree Hill” between 2003 and 2012. Audrey Wauchope, a former writer on “One Tree Hill,” detailed in a series of tweets on Saturday alleged sexual harassment from Schwahn. Only referring him as the “showrunner,” Wauchope claimed Schwahn would show other men naked photos of an actress “he was having an affair with” and would touch female co-workers inappropriately, including massaging shoulders, petting their hair and putting his arms around them.
The 18 women also wrote in the letter, “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,” the letter continued.
The women said Schwahn’s behavior was an “open secret” on the set of the series and that everyone was fully aware of it. The actresses and crew members added that they confided in each other about Schwahn’s alleged sexual misconduct and warned new women who joined the series over the years.
Many of the former “One Tree Hill” actors, including Austin Nichols, James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti, tweeted on Tuesday in support of the actresses and crew members.