'The Royals' creator Mark Schwahn suspended over sexual harassment claims

ANI | Updated: Nov 16, 2017 10:24 IST

Washington DC [USA], November 16 (ANI): Amid the mounting allegations of sexual harassment by female cast and crew of his previous TV series, 'One Tree Hill,' showrunner Mark Schwahn has been suspended from its current show 'The Royals.'

"E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action," read a statement from the network and studios, reports People magazine

"Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from 'The Royals' as we continue our investigation," it added.

The filming of the season 4 of 'The Royals' wrapped recently in September and will air as planned next year on E!

TV writer Audrey Wauchope over the weekend accused Schwahn of sexual harassment during the time she and her writing partner Rachel Specter worked on the CW drama on Twitter.

Later, Schwahn was accused of sexual harassment and physical and emotional manipulation by 18 female cast and crew members who worked on the TV drama - including Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton - which aired from 2003 to 2012 on The WB and The CW.

A joint letter, which was first reported by Variety, asserted, "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. 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 traumatising, 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 actresses' male costars, including James Lafferty and Chad Michael Murray, took to social media to show support after the letter was published. (ANI)