Lionsgate TV and E! have fired Mark Schwahn, The Royals creator and showrunner, after more than forty women came forward and accused him of sexual harassment. Variety reports that the claims first surfaced in November, and producers suspended him pending an internal investigation. Now, the result of the inquiry is that Schwahn will not be returning to the show.
According to Fox News, the first allegation against Schwahn – who was also the creator and showrunner of One Tree Hill – came via a tweet from one of the popular drama’s former writers, Audrey Wauchope.
Wauchope claimed that the “showrunner” would show naked photos of an actress he claimed to be having an affair with to other men and that he would touch females inappropriately.
‘Royals’ Creator Mark Schwahn Fired Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations https://t.co/CvzAxJNuJe
— Variety (@Variety) December 21, 2017
After Wauchope’s tweet, 18 other women from the show came forward and released a letter that backed up her claims. The letter, which Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush signed, said that Schwan’s behavior was “something of an open secret.”
“All of the female cast members of One Tree Hill have chosen this forum to stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another,” said the letter.
The ladies went on to write that Schwahn manipulated them psychologically and emotionally to varying degrees, and more than one of them is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
One day after the ladies from One Tree Hill released their letter, 25 female cast members of The Royals released their own letter alleging Schwan’s “repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew.”
After the news of Schwan’s firing broke, Bush, an avid activist, and feminist, tweeted that she hoped it “is salve to your souls.” She also said that this should be a lesson to other predators out there, that even though it may take some time, justice will be served.
— Variety (@Variety) November 18, 2017
Wauchope also tweeted a message of thanks to Lionsgate and E! for validating the women who came forward.
Per Perez Hilton, Burton tweeted that we can’t condone “degrees of harassment” because one day you get your boob or butt grabbed at work and you become conditioned. She also said she had no idea how bad it was at One Tree Hill until she worked on the show, White Collar. She thanked the people on that show for showing her how things are supposed to be.
She also said that the people at Lethal Weapon have also treated her with respect and kindness.
Mark Schwahn has not commented on his ousting.