Mark Schwahn has been accused of sexual harassment by 25 female crew members who work on his E! soap “The Royals.” The women all signed an open letter in which they describe “repeated unwanted sexual harassment” at the hands of Schwahn. The creator was accused of similar allegations earlier this week by the female cast and crew of “One Tree Hill.”
“Upon reading a statement from the ladies of ‘One Tree Hill,’ a statement from their Royal sisters could not possibly go unwritten,” the letter begins. The women say they were aware of the rumors surrounding Schwahn’s behavior on the set of “One Tree Hill” but went into the filming of “The Royals” hoping they were “just rumors.” “By the time we wrapped this had irrevocably proven not to be the case,” they write.
The statement has been signed by the following women: Hatty Preston, Sophie Colquhoun, Alex Watherson, Lydia Rose Bewley, April Church, Annalise Beusnel, Poppy Corby-Tuech, Florence Chow, Charlie Jones, Isabella Artitzone, Jade Armstrong, Rachel Walsh, Tania Vernava, Bonnie Vannucci, Merritt Patterson, Kate Benton, Jerry-Jane Pears, Jodie Simone, Kate Royds, Leonie Hartard, Lisa Mitton, Marie Deehan, Alice Woodward, Rachel Lennon, and Kimberly Macbeth.
Read the open letter below.
Upon reading a statement from the ladies of One Tree Hill, a statement from their Royal sisters could not possibly go unwritten.
Despite hearing rumours about his behaviour on One Tree Hill, those of us involved from the early stages went into the filming of the pilot hoping they were just that – rumours. By the time we wrapped this had irrevocably proven not to be the case. It became all too apparent reading their statement earlier this week that the betrayal and anger so many of us had experienced during our time on The Royals is not exclusively ours. And we were angry then, and we are angry now.
This statement is a collection of voices from those women involved in The Royals who would like to finally respond to the behaviour of our showrunner. Who felt the inclination to abuse his power and influence in an environment where he had it over women who felt they did not. This manifested itself in the repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew.
Where we should have been excited to meet new female cast and crew members, we felt nauseating concern in case they too should have him track down their mobile number. Where we should have offered our friends who auditioned for The Royals scene help and advice, we offered warnings about the man they would meet in the room. More than all of this, where we should all collectively have felt pride over jobs hard won and roles much loved, we felt undermined as artists and creatives. And in many cases, no more than a sum of body attributes.
Whilst voraciously condemning the actions of one man, we would like to make note of our gratitude to others. Thank you to so many of the Royal men who ensured we were never alone in social situations with him and took two steps towards us for his every one. Thank you to the friends, loved ones and partners who supported us at the time and ever more so now in coming forwards.
But thank you most of all to the women of One Tree Hill, whose solid gold backbones have moved us enormously. To you we doff our crowns.
The Ladies of The Royals.
The letter was published following allegations made by series star Alexandra Park. Park wrote on Twitter following the accusations made by the cast and crew of “One Tree Hill” that she had experienced similar “reprehensible behavior” from Schwahn while working on “The Royals.”
— Alexandra Park (@AlexandraPark1) November 16, 2017
In response to the allegations, “The Royals” star Elizabeth Hurley has issued her own statement on Twitter, saying that she was unaware of the alleged harassment taking place on set. “[I] feel like I have let down a younger cast member,” she said. “I could have helped her. I would have helped her. But I didn’t know.”
I have loved working on The Royals. I am devastated by recent reports. This is my statement. pic.twitter.com/7c7VCAgPjr
— Elizabeth Hurley (@ElizabethHurley) November 16, 2017