Drama Queens

The three stars of iHeart Media’s
Drama Queens are connecting with fans of One Tree Hill and themselves in a unique way.

Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton Morgan, and Bethany Joy Lenz endured sexual harassment and bullying at the hands of showrunner Mark Schwahn during their time on One Tree Hill and shared their stories with the public to reclaim their experience. 

At times, it hasn’t been easy.


“It is hard to go back and watch certain things and remember the tears in the trailers because we didn’t want to be put in lingerie,” Bush said. ‘’I'll never forget, getting into it, on the phone with Mark Schwahn one day. (I said) I didn't sign up for this. I didn't sign up for you to be writing for me to be in my underwear every episode. I'm uncomfortable with it, and I'm 21. I can't imagine how uncomfortable 15 and 16-year old girls who are watching the show feel.  We got into it, and he said,`No, you're going to do whatever we write for you.’. And I said I’m not, you know. Right. I just remember to saying, I'm not.I didn't sign up for that.’

According to Bush, she told Schwahn that he ought to hire another actress to play the role of Brooke Davis with the understanding that she would be “half-naked” all the time. Schwahn responded with a crude remark about her breasts which he said viewers were eager to see.

“And I remember how small that made me feel,” she said. “And then realized this is why every time I go for a fitting, I was handed a Wonder Bra.”

The show”s writers improved the parts of the female characters after Bush’s complaints.

“Bush is looking forward to revisiting some storylines — including the era where Brooke and Haley got an apartment together in Season 3,”  Variety says. “Another standout moment came i Season 4’s “Pieces of You” episode, where a class assignment leads to Brooke labeling a photo with all the ways she doesn’t feel she’s good enough.”

“That episode happened because of a conversation I had with our writers,” she told Variety. “Talking about what it feels like to be a woman.”

E! fired Schwahn in 2017 as showrunner of The Royals after allegations of his conduct on One Tree Hill surfaced. 

Burton Morgan notes that female cast members on One Tree Hill would have been treated better if there was a woman in a position of power.

“We've never received any apology from anyone,’ she said. “And at a certain point, you realize you don't need it anymore because moving forward as a unit[ is the greatest outcome we could have ever gotten, you know, moving together. The three of us have had such a cathartic, wonderful experience.”

 Drama Queens debuted in June and is a hit for iHeart. It is attracting new fans who’ve discovered the show on Hulu and other streaming services, Lunz said

“/that has pushed it over the top, and I think it took us to number one for so long and keeps us up on those top 10, And that's super exciting.

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