Lionsgate TV has suspended The Royals creator/executive producer/showrunner Mark Schwahn 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.
“E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action,” the companies said in a statement. “Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from The Royals as we continue our investigation.”
It is not clear what exactly the suspension entails as shooting wrapped on season four of The Royals in September. It will air as planned next year on E!. No decision on Season 5 has been made yet.
TV writer Audrey Wauchope over the weekend accused former One Tree Hill creator and showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment during the time she and her writing partner Rachel Specter worked on the CW drama. The duo were soon joined by a number of other former OTH former cast and crew members, including Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz, who signed an open letter detailing harassment by Schwahn. They described being “manipulated psychologically and emotionally,” “put in uncomfortable positions,””felt physically unsafe” and “threatened” while on the show. The women have received support from their male counterparts, with a number of male OTH stars standing by their colleagues in social media messages.
At the time the OTH women spoke out earlier this week, E!, UCP and Lionsgate TV said they were “monitoring the information carefully.”