Alexandra Park Accuses Mark Schwahn Of Sexual Misconduct On The Set Of 'The Royals’ — UPDATE
Television series creator Mark Schwahn is now facing further allegations of misconduct on the set of one of his shows. On Wednesday, The Royals star Alexandra Park accused Schwahn of sexual misconduct on the set of the E! series. In a lengthy statement posted on Twitter, Park wrote, "To the women (and men) who have so bravely spoken up in these recent allegations regarding Mark Schwann, I commend you. That must not have been easy." The 28-year-old actor, who plays Eleanor in the drama, then came forward alleging she, too, has experienced inappropriate behavior with showrunner. Bustle has reached out to an agent and lawyer for Schwahn for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
UPDATE 1: After Park voiced her claims, 25 female cast and crew members from The Royals wrote an open letter published on Deadline in which they claim "repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew" from Schwahn. The women say they were inspired by the letter written by the One Tree Hill women. Bustle has reached out to an agent and lawyer for Schwahn regarding the letter, but did not receive an immediate response.
UPDATE 2: On Thursday, Dec. 21, Deadline reported that E! has parted ways with Schwahn. Lionsgate shared the following statement with Deadline:
“We have concluded our investigation and Mark will not be returning to The Royals. The 4th season of the show has already completed production and will air as scheduled on E! in the spring.”
The fate of Season 5 remains unclear, according to Deadline.
EARLIER: Park claims in her post,
I have a responsibility as someone who was working under Mark Schwahn on 'The Royals' to acknowledge these claims. I am devastated to admit to myself, to my colleagues, and to this industry that I too, have been exposed to this reprehensible behavior.
The actor did not share further details of the exact behavior she allegedly experienced on set. Bustle has reached out to a rep for Park for further comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
Park then went onto thank the studio and network for supporting her. "I am immensely appreciative of my studio and network for listening to me, for being my partner in this conflict, and for taking the actions necessary to make things right."
You can read her statement in full below. After speaking out Wednesday evening, Park's co-star and real-life close friend, Tom Austen, commended her on Twitter. "I didn't think it was possible to be any more proud of this girl. Turns out it is...", he tweeted.
On Wednesday, Schwahn was suspended from The Royals. "E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action," the studios told Variety in a statement Wednesday. It continued, "Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from The Royals as we continue our investigation." According to Variety, The Royals' fourth season wrapped production in September with the new season slated to debut in March. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Season four of the drama will air as planned next year."
Schwahn's suspension follows allegations made by One Tree Hill writer, Audrey Wauchope, on Saturday, Nov. 11. She tweeted about the alleged harassment she endured on the set of the former WB show. She did not name Schwahn in her series of tweets, but only referred to her alleged perpetrator as "the showrunner". Soon after she came forward, 18 female cast and crew members from OTH, including Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz, released a joint statement to Variety detailing how they were also allegedly treated and spoken to on set, while working with Schwahn.
Part of the letter read,
All of the female cast members of One Tree Hill have chosen this forum to stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another. To use terminology that has become familiar as the systemic reality of sexual harassment and assault has come more and more to light, Mark Schwahn’s behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an "open secret."
You can read the entire letter here. Following Wauchope and the female cast member's statements, several of the male stars from OTH responded with unwavering support. At the time of the letter's release to Variety, Bustle reached out to an agent and lawyer for Schwahn for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.
Since Park has stepped forward, many of the OTH women have supported her on Twitter. Bush tweeted, "We are all here for you, sister" and tagged the other women who signed the OTH letter. Burton also tweeted, "Honey, you are so full of grace and honor. Proud to stand beside you. So incredibly moved by your bravery. Xoxoxo". As you can see below, Lenz, Kate Voegele (who played Mia on OTH), and Wauchope also are standing in support of Park.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.