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‘Royals’ Creator Mark Schwahn Fired Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Variety logo Variety 12/21/2017 Joe Otterson
Mark Schwahn posing for the camera © Provided by Variety

The Royals” creator and showrunner Mark Schwahn has been fired after being suspended shortly after Variety reported on detailed allegations of sexual harassment during his time on “One Tree Hill.”

“We have concluded our investigation and Mark will not be returning to The Royals,” a spokesperson for Lionsgate TV said in a statement. “The fourth season of the show has already completed production and will air as scheduled on E! in the spring.”

“The Royals” is produced by Lionsgate Television and Universal Cable Productions. The show tells the soap-opera story of a fictionalized version of the British royal family.

In a letter to Variety, 18 women who worked on “One Tree Hill,” came forward to accuse Schwahn of sexual harassment. “Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally,” the group of actors, writers, and crewmembers wrote. “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 traumatizing, to downright illegal. And a few of us were put in positions where we felt physically unsafe.”

In addition, “One Tree Hill” star Hilarie Burton claimed that Schwahn repeatedly targeted her. Burton said Schwahn twice tried to force himself on her, kissing her on the mouth without warning and against her will. She also said Schwahn touched her inappropriately while in the presence of his wife.

25 cast and crew members of “The Royals” also called out Schwahn’s behavior, saying in a letter that Schwahn engaged in “repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew.”

Schwahn is the latest of many high-profile Hollywood men to be accused of sexual harassment or misconduct. In addition to figures like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K., Andrew Kreisberg– an executive producer on superhero dramas “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Supergirl” and “Legends of Tomorrow”–was fired after 19 women and men who worked on the shows described being subjected to or witnessing incidents of inappropriate touching and endemic sexual harassment.

 

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