In a series of tweets, a former staff writer for the North Carolina-filmed TV show “One Tree Hill” accused showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment, Variety reported Monday.
Audrey Wauchope, a former staff writer for the show, said on Twitter that the former show runner sexually harassed female crew and cast members of the show.
Wauchope didn’t name Schwahn in the tweets, but he was the head writer and producer for “One Tree Hill.” A letter of support from the cast members does identify Schwahn by name.
The unsolicited advances toward female staff included putting his arm around them, petting their hair and showing naked pictures of an actress he was having an affair with, according to Wauchope’s tweets.
In another tweet, Wauchope describes how Schwahn pulled aside her female writing partner, Rachel Specter, to know if she wanted to follow through on getting married, asking if he could have a shot.
Following her tweets, crew and cast members wrote a letter Monday published on Variety supporting Wauchope.
“Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally,” the letter reads. “More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress.”
The letter goes on to say the female staff had to find spaces to confide in one another and warn new women who joined the staff.
“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,” the letter said. “This is not an appropriate amount of pressure to put on young girls.”
The letter was signed by cast members: 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 Munn
And crew members: Audrey Wauchope, Rachel Specter, Jane Beck, Tarin Squillante, Cristy Koebley, JoJo Stephens.
Most of the filming of “One Tree Hill” took place in Wilmington. Many scenes were shot on the campus of UNC-Wilmington.