After The Royals star Alexandra Park spoke out Wednesday against the “unacceptable, harmful leadership” of the drama’s creator Mark Schwahn, 25 female cast and crew members from the E! series have signed a statement alleging further levels of abuse by the now-suspended showrunner.
Schwahn’s past behavior is already under investigation by E!, Universal Cable Prods. and Lionsgate after he was accused of sexual harassment and physical and emotional manipulation by 18 female cast and crew members who worked on the CW drama, One Tree Hill, which aired from 2003-2012. Now the women of Schwahn’s two-year-old drama The Royals have written this missive, submitted to Variety:
A representative for Schwahn did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment about the allegations.
Representatives for E! released the following statement: “E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action. Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from The Royals as we continue our investigation.”
According to a joint letter from the women of One Tree Hill, “Schwahn’s behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an open secret. 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.”
The Royals wrapped production on its fourth season in September and is expected to air on E! in the new year.