Sophia Bush Claims One Tree Hill Creator Hung Photos of Cast In Underwear In His Office
“We were like, ‘Wow, that’s super violating.'”
While the cast and crew of “One Tree Hill” have been very open with their accounts of sexual harassment at the hands of creator Mark Schwahn, star Sophia Bush just shared another horrifying allegation in a new interview.
During an appearance this week on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast, the “Smallville” actor noted how Schwahn “was basically a monster” during the show’s nine seasons — a statement with which Bush agreed.
“18 women on our show signed a collective letter. That was 18 people willing to be public about their experiences of the cast and on the crew, and 25 women on the cast and crew of his subsequent show signed a letter in response about his behavior,” she began.
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In the letter, he was accused of inappropriate behavior on set from those working on “One Tree Hill,” before those working on “The Royals” made similar claims in 2017, leading to him being fired from the show. Among the allegations: Hilarie Burton claimed Schwahn forcibly kissed her and put his hands down her pants at a concert, while costar Danneel Ackles backed up her account. Schwahn has yet to make a single statement about the accusations.
“He was very open. I think the worst of what he did was hidden. But, yeah, he was not embarrassed to be handsy, to make inappropriate commentary, to pull people into side rooms for conversations,” Bush continued.
“It’s funny when you think about the things men write. We would have these scenes written for us, being with our intimate partners on the show, scenes written where we’d be in our underwear, whatever,” she continued. “We found out from a writer that he kept a board of the fitting photos of each girl in underwear up in his office. Pictures of us that were taken by the wardrobe supervisor, who was a woman, of us in different versions of underwear and/or lingerie that then had to be approved, picked and one would wind up in the show.”
“He just would keep a board of all these photos. We were like, ‘Wow, that’s super violating,'” she recalled.
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Rosenbaum then wondered whether Bush would be able to keep her “composure” if she wound up face-to-face in a room with Schwahn now.
“I could do a conversation like this, but even as you ask me to imagine it, the sensation of white, hot rage in my chest is not small,” she replied. “Because not only was it the really overt just abuse and manipulation that he put so many women through, it was also the more insidious s—.”
She then resurfaced claims that their boss would pit all the women on the show against one another, telling each of them the others were “talking s—” behind their backs. She added that, because he was their boss, they never considered he was making it up — and feels a level of “ferocity” about all the “time he stole” from them as friends.
“He would talk about never letting us be like the ‘Friends’ cast … we always thought, ‘Yeah, LOL, what cast is ever going to get paid that much an episode?'” she continued. “What we didn’t realize was that he never wanted us to be best friends because then we would talk about money and then we would advocate together. It wouldn’t be that kind of money, but we would join forces. And we didn’t get that at the time.”
“We didn’t know that we should have questioned him the most. We listened to him, we questioned each other and I find that really unforgivable,” she added.
Now, Bush and costars Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz are revisiting the series for a podcast of their own, titled “Drama Queens.” As they break down the show one episode at a time, Bush told Rosenbaum she’s happy to be “healing old wounds” each week.
“If it irks [Schwahn] that we have the power,” she added, “I’m thrilled.”
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