Hollywood Harassment: Schwahn, Seacrest, Miller, Weiner, Kreisberg.
Varied claims levelled against One Tree Hill creator, Girls writer, American Idol host, Supergirl producer & Mad Men creator.
Multiple claims have been levelled against Mark Schwahn, creator of former teen drama One Tree Hill.
18 former cast & crew, including stars Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz, signed a letter of complaint to Variety, alleging sexual harassment.
“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,” the wrote.
Female lead actress Hilarie Burton has also alleged inappropriate touching and kissing.
Schwahn was suspended this week from his current job, as showrunner on E! drama The Royals, which he also created.
E!, UCP, and Lionsgate said that they “take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action.”
Meanwhile E! is also conducting an internal investigation into an allegation of misconduct against producer / presenter Ryan Seacrest.
“Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her,” Seacrest said in a statement. “If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry. I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result. I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that’s core to who I am. Throughout my 25 years in the entertainment industry, the majority of my co-workers have been women, and I’ve endeavored to foster a positive work environment of mutual respect and courtesy, as that’s how I believe it should be. I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I’m proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices.”
A spokesperson for E! confirmed that the cable channel is conducting an investigation.
In other reports Los Angeles Police is investigating Girls writer Murray Miller after actress Aurora Perrineau alleged sexual assault. In a statement, attorney Matthew B. Walerstein said, “Mr. Miller categorically and vehemently denies Ms. Perrineau’s outrageous claims,” reads the statement. “After being contacted several weeks ago by lawyers who—on Ms. Perrineau’s behalf—sought substantial monetary damages from him, Mr. Miller’s legal team gathered overwhelming evidence directly contradicting these false and offensive claims. Only after her demands for money were rebuffed did Ms. Perrineau go to the police. Mr. Miller looks forward to sharing all evidence and information with any and all authorities seeking the truth in this matter.” Co-showrunners Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner have also defended Miller noting, “….our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year.”
Update: Dunham later withdrew her support.
Andrew Kreisberg executive producer on Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, has been stood down following allegations by 15 women and four men.
“We have recently been made aware of allegations of misconduct against Andrew Kreisberg,” said Warner Bros. TV Group in a statement to Variety. “We have suspended Mr. Kreisberg and are conducting an internal investigation. We take all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously, and are committed to creating a safe working environment for our employees and everyone involved in our productions.”
Finally, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner said of allegations against him, “I will just say what I’ve said: the allegation is not true…. When I think back on it, you know, if I had to do it [again] — letting people go and being mad about having to rewrite everything … You’re just angry a lot of the time, but you want the show to be great and it’s kind of what you do,” he said. “So I guess if I could do it over again, I would do it differently. The person I am now would definitely do it different.”