One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton has slammed NBC for keeping Mark Schwahn employed as he faces over 40 claims of sexual harassment, while Matt Lauer was fired after just one accusation of misconduct.
Hilarie is just one of the women who have come forward with tales of Schwahn’s inappropriate behavior on the set of the much-loved teen drama, leading to the showrunner, who now works on E! show The Royals, being suspended by the network on 15 November (17).
On Wednesday (29Nov17), the network once again hit headlines when they decided to axe Today co-host Lauer after a female colleague filed a complaint against him.
Unhappy with the disparity between the two cases, E! is also owned by NBC Universal, Hilarie took to Twitter to point out the difference in treatment meted out to the men.
It's amazing to me that @nbc can fire Lauer, but Mark Schwahn – after over 40 women have come forward – is still on "suspension" over at @e_entertainment. We just waiting for the whole thing to blow over? New day, new headline? Fire the predator. #BurnItDownSis https://t.co/DOdcat8Go7
— Hilarie Burton (@HilarieBurton) November 29, 2017
“It’s amazing to me that @nbc can fire Lauer, but Mark Schwahn – after over 40 women have come forward – is still on ‘suspension’ over at @e_entertainment,” she tweeted. “We just waiting for the whole thing to blow over? New day, new headline? Fire the predator. #BurnItDownSis.”
Writer Audrey Wauchope was the first to come forward with allegations about Schwahn, detailing her experience with the showrunner on Twitter while not naming him. Days later, a joint statement from the entire female cast and crew of One Tree Hill accused Schwahn of being inappropriate with hordes of women, including Hilarie.
The actress later detailed her own experience with Schwahn, telling Variety that after designating her “his muse”, the TV mogul forcefully kissed her and put his hands down her pants – on at least three separate occasions.
“I’m at the bar waiting to get drinks for the hairdresser and me, and he leans over and kisses me in front of everybody. Right on the mouth. It was something I had to get out of. It wasn’t a peck. It wasn’t, ‘Hey sis, how’s your day?’ It was a boyfriend kiss,” she told the magazine as she recalled one situation.
After the One Tree Hill cast’s claims, and The Royals actress Alexandra Park coming forward with claims that she too had been “exposed” to Schwahn’s inappropriate behavior, E! decided to suspend him from the show as they investigated.