‘Believe Women. We are all in this together.’
Details first started emerging over the weekend, when TV writer Audrey Wauchope accused Schwahn of sexually harassing her during the time she and her writing partner Rachel Specter worked on the teen drama (the show ran from 2003 to 2012). Since then, a number of OTH actresses have stepped forward in support of Wauchope on social media, including Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz.
— Hilarie Burton (@HilarieBurton) November 14, 2017
What a long time coming. Your deeds will truly find you out in the end. I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak up in a time when change is possible. There is still more to say but for this moment, we thank you for your support 🙌🏼💥
— Joy Lenz (@BethanyJoyLenz) November 14, 2017
— Bethany Joy Lenz (@BethanyJoyLenz) November 14, 2017
The open letter, from Bush, Burton, Joy Lenz and fellow former OTH female cast and crew members, outlines what the workplace was like with Schwahn as their boss:
Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress. Many of us were put in uncomfortable positions and had to swiftly learn to fight back, sometimes physically, because it was made clear to us that the supervisors in the room were not the protectors they were supposed to be. Many of us were spoken to in ways that ran the spectrum from deeply upsetting, to traumatizing, to downright illegal. And a few of us were put in positions where we felt physically unsafe. More than one woman on our show had her career trajectory threatened.
Schwahn and the CW have not yet commented.