A number of actresses and female crew members from E!’s The Royals are speaking out in the wake of series creator/showrunner Mark Schwahn’s suspension from the popular E! series following a slew of sexual harassment allegations against him made by the female cast and crew of his previous series, One Tree Hill.
In a joint statement to Deadline signed by 25 crew members and actresses — series regular Merritt Patterson and guest-starring/recurring players — they accuse Schwahn of “repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew.” The women of The Royals say that they were inspired by their OTH counterparts who wrote a similar joint statement on Monday supporting former OTH writer Audrey Wauchope’s accusations of sexual harassment against former One Tree Hill creator and showrunner Schwahn.
Today’s letter also follows a statement issued last night by The Royals series regular Alexandra Park, in which she said that “I too, have been exposed to this reprehensible behavior.”
The Royals star Elizabeth Hurley came out with her own statement this morning, saying that the accusations of sexual harassment against Shcwahn were “a shocking surprise” to her and that she “never witnessed it.”
Here is the full statement from 25 Royals female actors and crew members:
Upon reading a statement from the ladies of One Tree Hill, a statement from their Royal sisters could not possibly go unwritten.
Despite hearing rumours about his behaviour on One Tree Hill, those of us involved from the early stages went into the filming of the pilot hoping they were just that – rumours. By the time we wrapped this had irrevocably proven not to be the case. It became all too apparent reading their statement earlier this week that the betrayal and anger so many of us had experienced during our time on The Royals is not exclusively ours. And we were angry then, and we are angry now.
This statement is a collection of voices from those women involved in The Royals who would like to finally respond to the behaviour of our showrunner. Who felt the inclination to abuse his power and influence in an environment where he had it over women who felt they did not. This manifested itself in the repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew.
Where we should have been excited to meet new female cast and crew members, we felt nauseating concern in case they too should have him track down their mobile number. Where we should have offered our friends who auditioned for The Royals scene help and advice, we offered warnings about the man they would meet in the room. More than all of this, where we should all collectively have felt pride over jobs hard won and roles much loved, we felt undermined as artists and creatives. And in many cases, no more than a sum of body attributes.
Whilst voraciously condemning the actions of one man, we would like to make note of our gratitude to others. Thank you to so many of the Royal men who ensured we were never alone in social situations with him and took two steps towards us for his every one. Thank you to the friends, loved ones and partners who supported us at the time and ever more so now in coming forwards.
But thank you most of all to the women of One Tree Hill, whose solid gold backbones have moved us enormously. To you we doff our crowns.
The Ladies of The Royals.
Hatty Preston, Sophie Colquhoun, Alex Watherson, Lydia Rose Bewley, April Church, Annalise Beusnel, Poppy Corby-Tuech, Florence Chow, Charlie Jones, Isabella Artitzone, Jade Armstrong, Rachel Walsh, Tania Vernava, Bonnie Vannucci, Merritt Patterson, Kate Benton, Jerry-Jane Pears, Jodie Simone, Kate Royds, Leonie Hartard, Lisa Mitton, Marie Deehan, Alice Woodward, Rachel Lennon, Kimberly Macbeth.
Shooting on the upcoming season four of The Royals wrapped in September. It will air as planned next year on E!. The series’ future beyond that is unclear.