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November 16, 2017 at 03:08 PM EST

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:

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 – 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.

Kind regards
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.

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.

2015 TV Series
type
TV Show
seasons
3
Genre
run date
03/15/15
Status
In Season
Complete Coverage

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