Hilarie Burton recalls 'creepy' moment 'One Tree Hill' creator Mark Schwahn wrote himself into the show when they weren't speaking

Hilarie Burton (L) starred on "One Tree Hill" created by Mark Shcwahn (R).
Hilarie Burton starred on "One Tree Hill," created by Mark Schwahn.Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images, Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage
  • Hilarie Burton said Mark Schwahn wrote himself onto "One Tree Hill" when they weren't speaking.

  • Burton opened up about the "creepy" moment with the show's creator on the "Drama Queens" podcast.

  • "I wasn't speaking to him," Burton said. "So he wrote himself into the episode of me hugging him."

Hilarie Burton said "One Tree Hill" creator Mark Schwahn wrote himself into the show when they weren't on speaking terms, forcing her to interact with him.

On a recent episode of the "Drama Queens" podcast, hosted by Burton and her former "One Tree Hill" co-stars Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz, the actor recalled preparing to shoot a scene opposite Schwahn in an episode titled "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace" in the fifth season.

"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, routinely referred to as "Voldemort" by the "Drama Queens" hosts.

peyton sawyer season 1 episode 1 one tree hill
Hilarie Burton as Peyton Sawyer.Warner Bros.

"It was so creepy," Burton said. "I got the script and I was just like 'Alright, it's one day of work, it's just one day of work'."

The revelation comes nearly six years after Burton and fellow members of the "One Tree Hill" cast and crew released a joint letter accusing Schwahn of sexual harassment and showing solidarity for one of the show's former writers, Audrey Wauchope, after she went public with her own experience in 2017.

In the letter, first published by Variety, the cast and crew members – including Bush and Lens – wrote that most of them experienced being "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 added.

"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."

After the letter was published, E!, Universal Cable Productions, and Lionsgate Television — the companies behind "The Royals", another show Schwahn was working on at the time, said they were "monitoring the information carefully" and were "committed to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated respectfully and professionally."

Schwahn was fired from "The Royals" in December 2017 after more cast and crewmembers came forward with accusations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Hilarie Burton promoting "One Tree Hill" on January 16, 2004, in New York City.
Hilarie Burton promoting "One Tree Hill" in 2004.Peter Kramer/Getty Images

In the podcast, Burton said that even though her boyfriend at the time was directing "One Tree Hill" and her brother was working on the set, she felt it "wasn't quite enough" to shield herself from Schwahn.

"So I invited my dad to work this day," she added. "In between every take I would just beeline to the monitor and just go stand next to my dad because you can't touch me, you can't pull me into a sidebar conversation, you can't do any of that."

Burton said her discomfort at filming with Schwahn is visible in the scene: "You can tell by my body language I'm like always pointed away, I'm never looking directly at him."

Nevertheless, she recalls telling herself that she wasn't going to let Schwahn stop her from showing up, saying her lines, and going home.

When the discussion first began, at around 40 minutes into the podcast, Lens called Schwahn's decision to write himself into the show "psychotic."

"Can you guys imagine Shonda Rhimes or Aaron Sorkin casting themselves on their own show?" Bush added. In a previous "Drama Queens" episode, Bush said recalled a time on the show when Schwahn wouldn't let her have bangs – because cheerleaders who wouldn't "have sex" with him in high school had them.

Insider could not reach Mark Schwahn for comment.

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