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Hilarie Burton and ‘One Tree Hill’ Costars Refer to Showrunner Mark Schwahn as Voldemort

By Emma Chance | TV | August 28, 2023 |

By Emma Chance | TV | August 28, 2023 |


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The One Tree Hill rewatch podcast Drama Queens, hosted by former OTH costars Hilarie Burton, Sophia Bush, and Bethany Joy Lenz, has so far served as a place for the three hosts to discuss just how weird of a place the set of that show was. The most recent revelation comes from Hilarie Burton, who added a story to the already long rap sheet against the show’s creator and showrunner, Mark Schwahn.

“I wasn’t speaking to him in real life, and so he wrote himself into the episode of me hugging him,” Burton said of Schwahn, colloquially referred to in the language of the podcast as “Voldemort.”

The episode in question is “Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace,” from season 5 of the show, which was written by Schwahn, who wrote a character, Max, for himself. Burton said she was so uncomfortable that she invited her dad to set on the day of filming.

“It was so creepy,” she said, and despite there being many other men she trusted present on set, she still didn’t feel safe. “So I invited my dad to work this day and my dad came and sat behind the monitor the whole day.” She was sure to stay close to him all day long, saying, “You can’t touch me, you can’t pull me into a sidebar conversation, you can’t do any of that if I’m just making jokes with my dad.”

Schwahn was accused of sexual harassment and other misconduct in a 2017 letter written by the Drama Queens hosts and other women involved with OTH.

“Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. 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. More than one woman on our show had her career trajectory threatened,” the letter reads.

Support for the women behind the letter was widespread and vocal, but Schwahn has never responded to the allegations. Maybe, hopefully, his time has finally come.