‘Royals’ creator fired following sexual harassment allegations
“The Royals” creator and showrunner Mark Schwahn has been fired from the series following a suspension in November after colleagues accused him of sexual harassment
“We have concluded our investigation and Mark will not be returning to ‘The Royals,'” Lionsgate, the company which produces the series, announced in a statement obtained by CNN on Thursday.
Schwahn’s suspension last month came just days after a group of 18 actors and crew members who worked with him on his previous TV series, “One Tree Hill” came forward with accusations of sexual harassment in a joint statement.
“E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action,” the three companies said in a joint statement given to CNN at the time.
Alexandra Park, who stars on “The Royals,” echoed the concerns voiced by the former “One Tree Hill” staff members, saying she, too, had “been exposed” to Schwahn’s “reprehensible behavior.”
“In the past, people were afraid to come forward in these situations because they were terrified of losing an opportunity so hard to come by, an opportunity that meant so much to them,” she wrote. “I am proud and grateful that today, we can take a different path.”
The allegations against Schwahn were first alluded to by former “One Tree Hill” staff writer Audrey Wauchope on social media and later detailed in an open letter signed by cast and crew members, including actresses Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Danneel Harris, and Michaela McManus.
The women said in the letter that “many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally” by Schwahn.
“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,” the letter stated.
Attempts to reach Schwahn’s representative have gone unanswered.
“One Tree Hill” ran for nine seasons from 2003-12, first on The WB and then on The CW.
The fourth season of “The Royals” has completed production and will air as scheduled on E! in the spring.