The ladies of The Royals know far too well what the ladies of One Three Hill went through under showrunner Mark Schwahn.
Earlier this week, Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz and more female cast and crew members of One Tree Hill released a letter accusing Schwahn of sexual misconduct during the hit show.
After OTH ended in 2012, Schwahn went on to create the hit E! series The Royals — and apparently, the inappropriate behavior came with him across the pond.
Hours after E! announced Schwahn was suspended from the political drama amid a sexual harassment investigation, series star Alexandra Park issued a statement saying that she too has “been exposed to this reprehensible behavior.” She’s not the only one, either.
In a statement signed by 25 female cast and crew members from The Royals, the women who worked on the show say Schwahn engaged in “repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew.”
Wow. Was there any female colleague Schwahn didn’t make uncomfortable over the years? As it turns out, at least one: Elizabeth Hurley.
The Austin Powers actress issued her own statement on Twitter Thursday morning saying she “never witnessed” any harassment. Unlike her female colleagues who painted The Royals set as a toxic environment, Hurley saw the set as “a very happy one, full of laughter and fun.”
Hmm├óΓé¼┬ª Liz is one of the veteran actresses on the show. Maybe Schwahn just respects her too much to inflict abuse?
Now that she’s read the reports, the 52-year-old is “devastated” her castmates were made uncomfortable and afraid to speak up, but vows this type of abuse “won’t happen again on my watch.”
Read the full statements from the cast members (below).
Here’s what Park had to say on Wednesday:
On Thursday, Hurley issued this response:
This is what the 25 additional cast and crew members said on Thursday:
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 ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ 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.
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, Kimberly Macbeth.
Keep talking, ladies!
[Image via E!.]