AceShowbiz - It takes no time for E! to respond to recent sexual harassment allegations against a showrunner of one of its shows. The network has suspended "The Royals" creator Mark Schwahn after he was accused of sexual harassment during his time on his former The CW series, "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. Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from The Royals as we continue our investigation," state the network and studios in a joint statement. "Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from 'The Royals' as we continue our investigation."
Fortunately, the suspension doesn't affect the upcoming season 4 of the series. The production wrapped in September and the new season will air as planned next year.
Alexandra Park, one of the stars of the series, has just released a statement indicating that she, too, has been "exposed to" Schwahn's "reprehensible behavior." Taking to her Twitter account, Park writes, "I have a responsibility as someone who was working under Mark Schwahn on 'The Royals' to acknowledge these claims. I am devastated to admit to myself, to my colleagues, and to this industry that I too, have been exposed to this reprehensible behavior."
She adds, "To my cast and crew, to all supporters of the show, to all supporters of the movement, you are my family. We are the heart and soul of 'The Royals'. I hope that we can find a way to continue this journey that I am so proud to be a part of, and as a result set an example that I believe will lead to a 'new normal', the result that we, as people in this industry and every industry are so desperately trying to achieve."
Park's statement comes just two days after former "One Tree Hill" stars, including Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton, and several female crew members released an open letter in which they revealed Schwahn's alleged inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment, after former colleague Audrey Wauchope took to Twitter to accuse the showrunner of sexual harassment.
Released via Variety, the open letter read, "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 letter continued.
"Many of us were told, during filming, that coming forward to talk about this culture would result in our show being canceled and hundreds of lovely, qualified, hard-working, and talented people losing their jobs. This is not an appropriate amount of pressure to put on young girls," it went on saying, adding, "Many of us since have stayed silent publicly but had very open channels of communication in our friend group and in our industry, because we want 'Tree Hill' to remain the place 'where everything's better and everything's safe' for our fans; some of whom have said that the show quite literally saved their lives."