Mark Schwahn, creator of ‘The Royals, suspended after sexual harassment allegations
(CNN) — “One Tree Hill” creator Mark Schwahn has been suspended from his current series, E!’s “The Royals,” following accusations of sexual harassment by colleagues who’ve worked with him in the past and on his latest series.
“E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action,” the three companies said in a joint statement given to CNN. “Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from ‘The Royals’ as we continue our investigation.”
Schwahn’s suspension comes just days after a group of 18 actors and crew members who worked with him on the TV series “One Tree Hill” came forward with accusations of sexual harassment in a joint statement.
On Wednesday, Alexandra Park, who stars on “The Royals,” put out a statement on her Twitter account saying she had “been exposed” to Schwahn’s “reprehensible behavior.”
“In the past, people were afraid to come forward in these situations because they were terrified of losing an opportunity so hard to come by, an opportunity that meant so much to them,” she wrote. “I am proud and grateful that today, we can take a different path.”
The allegations against Schwahn were first alluded to by former “One Tree Hill” staff writer Audrey Wauchope on social media and later detailed in an open letter signed by cast and crew members, including actresses Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Danneel Harris, and Michaela McManus.
The women said in the letter that “many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally” by Schwahn.
“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,” the letter stated.
Attempts to reach an attorney and agent for Schwahn have gone unanswered.
“One Tree Hill” ran for nine seasons from 2003-12, first on The WB and then on The CW.
Schwahn’s absence is not expected to affect production or the airing of the show’s fourth season, as shooting wrapped back in September.
Season 4 of “The Royals” is set to air in 2018.