The creator and executive producer of Liz Hurley’s hit show The Royals has been suspended from the series amid the latest Hollywood sexual harassment scandal.
Lionsgate TV executives have removed Mark Schwahn from the set of the E! series following a string of misconduct allegations made against him from the female cast and crew of his previous TV hit, One Tree Hill.
“E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action,” spokesmen for the three companies said in a joint statement obtained by Deadline. “Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from The Royals as we continue our investigation.”
Shooting wrapped on season four of The Royals in September (17), and there’s no word on when or if season five will air.
Actresses Sophie Bush and Hilarie Burton were among the women who signed an open letter condemning Schwahn for his behavior on the set of One Tree Hill, and backing sexual harassment claims against him.
Show writer Audrey Wauchope hit headlines over the weekend (11-12Nov17) when she tweeted about the harassment she had experienced on the set, without naming Schwahn. In her messages, she accused the showrunner of inappropriately touching her, making inappropriate comments and even allegedly showing off nude pictures of his actress girlfriend.
In their letter, Sophia, Hilarie and castmate Bethany Joy Lenz accused Schwahn of treating them in ways that were “traumatizing” and “downright illegal”.
“Mark Schwahn’s behaviour 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,” the letter read. “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…
“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 letter was signed by 12 actresses on the show, including Jana Kramer and Danneel Harris, and six crew members, including Wauchope.