Mark Schwahn has been suspended as the showrunner of The Royals after his former employees and co-workers from One Tree Hill came forward about his sexual harassment and abuse.
Though currently working as executive producer on his creation The Royals, Mark Schwahn is best known as the creator and showrunner of One Tree Hill. Although the CW series has been off the air for over five years, recent shake-ups in the entertainment industry have emboldened Schwahn's former co-workers to speak up about their experiences with him.
The revelations began on Saturday, with a long thread of tweets by former One Tree Hill writer Audrey Wauchope. In her tweets, Wauchope described Schwahn touching female writers and actresses inappropriately, putting them in uncomfortable positions with his power as showrunner, and suggested that there was more to the story than she cared to say.
"I know he did more," she wrote, "but not to me so they're not my stories to share."
In light of the Andrew Kreisberg reporting, a couple thoughts about my first writing job that I've wanted to say for years but have never had the guts to. When I was 29 my writing partner @RachelSpecter and I were hired as staff writers.— Audrey Wauchope (@audreyalison) November 12, 2017
Wauchope was careful to put all the blame on the showrunner — who she did not name in her tweets — and absolve the network and her co-workers.
"I don't blame the men on that staff — I truly believe they were also in a way victims of psychological abuse," she wrote. She made it clear that the issue was one man made too powerful but an imbalanced system, not a lack of intervention by an institutional force.
On Monday, 12 female cast members, along with members of the crew, sent a joint letter to Variety corroborating Wauchope's story and stating their solidarity.
After these allegations surfaced, E! moved quickly to suspend Schwahn and launch an investigation. Filming wrapped on The Royals in September, so any consequences won't be immediate, but the investigation will determine whether Schwahn comes back next year.
Wauchope specifically stated that she felt empowered to come forward after The CW's recent suspension of Andrew Kreisberg, perfectly exemplifying the way solidarity among women in the entertainment industry has allowed all these recent revelations about corrupt men.
Since The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Harvey Weinstein following a torrent of allegations, a steady stream of men in Hollywood have faced similar charges by the women they've worked with. The revelations show no sign of stopping.