News in recent months has been filled with allegations of sexual misconduct, ranging from harassment to assault. Early reports against former showbiz bigwig Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey seemed to unleash a wave of individuals coming forward to share their own stories. The accusations have resulted in some big changes on big shows, including Spacey getting the axe from Netflix and House of Cards, Andrew Kreisberg getting the boot from The Flash, and Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor facing investigation by Amazon. Now, another prominent figure in television is facing consequences for his alleged harassment. One Tree Hill and The Royals creator Mark Schwahn has been fired by E!
Mark Schwahn was initially suspended from work on The Royals back on November 15. At the time, it was announced that he would remained suspended until E!, Universal Cable Productions, and Lionsgate Television could thoroughly and independently investigate the allegations against Schwahn to determine what appropriate action needed to be taken. Now, more than a month later, THR reports that the companies have completed their investigation and come to the conclusion that Schwahn needed to be fired from his work on The Royals.
The case that resulted in Mark Schwahn losing his job on The Royals actually started with veterans of another show. He created and worked on One Tree Hill, which aired for nine seasons from 2003 to 2012. A former writer for the show by the name of Audrey Wauchope tweeted that she and her writing partner had been sexually harassed while working on One Tree Hill. She did not initially refer to Schwarn by name, although she did ultimately claim that she'd witnessed inappropriate touching and comments, even saying that he once showed naked photos of a woman with whom he was in a relationship to members of the crew.
Audrey Wauchope's story was followed by a joint statement from the female stars of One Tree Hill (including Sophia Bush) supporting what Wauchope had said and went on to allege that they had been manipulated both emotionally and psychologically during their years working on the show. While these accusations obviously couldn't affect Mark Schwarn's work on One Tree Hill at this point, they did kick off the chain of events that would see him ousted from his current show. The Royals actress Alexandra Park took to social media to claim that she had witness "reprehensible behavior" from Schwarn. Her accusation was followed by a letter signed by 25 members of the cast and crew, alleging repeated misconduct toward females working on the show.
The Royals star Elizabeth Hurley has said that she was not the subject of any harassment nor did she witness any harassment from Mark Schwahn, but she did come out in support of those who had been mistreated. Fans of the series don't have to worry that Schwahn's firing will impact Season 4, which was already wrapped prior to his suspension. The big question now is whether the show will hire another showrunner or if Schwahn's firing will result in the show ending after the fourth season. Only time will tell.