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Over the past few weeks, accusations of sexual harassment have been leveled against numerous powerful men in Hollywood.
But few allegations have been like this:
On Monday night, the female cast and many crew members from One Tree Hill came together to write an open letter that called out series creator Mark Schwahn for years of unchecked sexual misconduct.
The actresses were inspired to take this unusual step after writer Audrey Wauchope (who currently works on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) Tweeted on Saturday that she and a colleague were sexually harassed years ago during their time writing for an unnamed series.
Wauchope did not cite Schwahn by name in her barrage of Tweets, either.
But she did write the following:
“Female writers would try to get the spot where the showrunner wouldn’t sit as to not be touched. Often men would help out by sitting next to him, thus protecting the women.
“Sometimes we wouldn’t luck out and he’d just squeeze his disgusting body in between us and put his arms around us, grinning.
“He pet hair. He massaged shoulders. I know he did more but not to me so they’re not my stories to share.”
Wauchope went on to say that the showrunner passed around naked photos of an actress he had slept with, unbeknownst to the actress, and that he tried talking a writer out of getting married because he wanted a chance to have sex with her.
It’s now clear that Wauchope was referring to Mark Schwahn.
In a joint statement – signed by One Tree Hill stars such as Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz – the female cast members of this former CW hit backed up Wauchope’s claims and alleged Schwahn manipulated many of them “psychologically and emotionally.”
Here is what the powerful letter says:
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.”
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 through line in all of this was, and still is, our unwavering support of and faith in one another. We confided in each other.
We set up safe spaces to talk about his behavior and how to handle it. To warn new women who joined our ranks.
We understood that a lot of it was orchestrated in ways that kept it out of sight for the studio back home. We also understood that no one was fully unaware.
The lack of action that has been routine, the turning of the other cheek, is intolerable.
We collectively want to echo the calls of women everywhere that vehemently demand change, in all industries.
Many of us were told, during filming, that coming forward to talk about this culture would result in our show being canceled and hundreds of lovely, qualified, hard-working, and talented people losing their jobs.
This is not an appropriate amount of pressure to put on young girls.
Many of us since have stayed silent publicly but had very open channels of communication in our friend group and in our industry, because we want Tree Hill to remain the place “where everything’s better and everything’s safe” for our fans; some of whom have said that the show quite literally saved their lives.
But the reality is, no space is safe when it has an underlying and infectious cancer. We have worked at taking our power back, making the conventions our own, and relishing in the good memories.
But there is more work to be done.
And it concludes:
We are all deeply grateful for Audrey’s courage. For one another. And for every male cast mate and crew member who has reached out to our group of women to offer their support these last few days.
They echo the greater rallying cry that must lead us to change: Believe Women. We are all in this together.
The message is signed “With Love and Courage” by:
- Sophia Bush
- Hilarie Burton
- Bethany Joy Lenz
- Danneel Harris
- Michaela McManus
- Kate Voegele
- Daphne Zuniga
- India de Beaufort
- Bevin Prince
- Jana Kramer
- Shantel Van Santen
- Allison Munn
It is also signed by the “Brave Crew And All the rest of the Women We Worked With Who Are Finding Their Voices as We Speak.”
Schwahn currently runs The Royals on E!.
In a statement Monday, the network said it is “monitoring the information carefully” and is “committed to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated respectfully and professionally.”
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Questions are once again being asked about Tyler, The Creator and his sexuality.
This time, fans of the rapper are wondering whether he’s gay after songs from Tyler, The Creator’s upcoming album, “Scum F-ck Flower Boy,” leaked online late Sunday night.
Do the following lyrics confirm rumors that this musician is gay?
On a track titled “I Ain’t Got Time,” Tyler raps that he’s “been kissing white boys since 2004.”
Later on in the album, in “Garden Shed,” the California rapper spits rhymes that appear to center on the struggle of making this public admission.
They read as follows:
Them feelings I was guardin’, heavy on my mind/All my friends lost, they couldn’t read the signs/I didn’t wanna talk and tell ’em my location, and they ain’t wanna walk.
Truth is, since a youth kid, thought it was a phase, Thought it’d be like the Frank; poof, gone, but, it’s still goin’ on.
Tyler, The Creator is yet to comment on the speculation behind his possible homosexuality.
But this is far from the only time the topic has come up.
In a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, Tyler talks about the rumors of him possibly being gay, making rather blunt comments about his sexuality.
Fans have been torn ever since about whether he was being serious or sarcastic.
“For the past two days I’ve wondered, is Tyler actually gay? I cannot emphasize how much gay humor plays a role in the atmosphere around him. It’s like a continuous loop of the “You know how I know you’re gay?” scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” the article reads.
“Never more than a few minutes pass without him saying he’s going to suck someone’s dick or him accusing someone of wanting to suck dick. At one point on the bus, he recalls sending nude photos to a group chat with his friends and no one responded.
My friends are so used to me being gay,” Tyler says. They don’t even care.
“I finally ask, Why all the gay humor?’
“Because I’m gay as fuck,” he says, without a flinch.
For real, the reporter asks?
“No, but I am in love with ’96 Leonardo DiCaprio,” he responded at the time. “I one hundred percent would go gay for ’96 Leo. Oh, and Cole Sprouse.”
There was also the time, about two years ago, when rumors surfaced of Tyler dating Kendall Jenner.
“Apparently we’re dating,” Jenner Tweeted in response, to which Tyler shot back: “Not possible, we’re both gay.”
Of course… Kendall is NOT gay. So, once again, it was difficult to tell if Tyler was joking here.
Going back further to 2012, this was Tyler’s statement after fellow Odd Future member and frequent collaborator Frank Ocean came out as gay:
“My Big Brother Finally Fucking Did That. Proud Of That N***a Cause I Know That S**t Is Difficult Or Whatever. Anyway. Im A Toilet.”
So there you have it.
Maybe. Possible. It’s unclear, really.
If Tyler, The Creator really is gay, more power to him.
And if he’s just using these rumors to make headlines and sell records, well… good for him as well.
That’s some brilliant marketing right there and it also shows he’s open to homosexuality, unlike other rappers who take the opposite approach and drop gay epithets throughout their songs.
You can be aware of something your whole life without knowing anything about its creator.
Paddington Bear’s creator, Michael Bond, has died at age 91.
He passed away at home after a brief illness.
On December 24th, 1956, Michael Bond noticed a lonely-looking stuffed bear sitting on a shelf.
On impulse, he bought it for his wife.
Inspired, he wrote A Bear Called Paddington in just 10 days.
On October 13th, 1958, that book was published.
But that was only the beginning.
Paddington Bear’s adventures in books have been ongoing.
The last story about the marmalade-loving bear, titled Paddington’s Finest Hour, came out in April.
It’s not uncommon for authors to keep publishing until their dying days.
Needless to say, it’s very rare for an author to continue writing for 61 years.
Not to mention having such a degree of success and a cultural impact that spans the globe.
Michael Bond had an Order Of The British Empire, which is like an Order of Merlin from Harry Potter, except real.
(I was a kid when Harry Potter came out and there are a lot of things that I thought were wizard things that turned out to just be British)
The Duke of Cambridge himself presented Bond with the award in an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
This was only two years ago.
HarperCollins issued a statement about Michael Bond’s passing:
“It is with great sadness that we announce that Michael Bond, CBE, the creator of one of Britain’s best-loved children’s characters, Paddington, died at home yesterday aged 91 following a short illness.”
Michael Bond’s own daughter, Karen Jankel, also spoke about her late father:
“It’s a shock to everybody. For me, he was the most wonderful father you can imagine, so obviously our loss is personal.”
So many people think of their favorite singers or actors or writers with regard to their art, celebrity status, and creations.
It’s too easy to forget that they’re real people with families and personal relationships that have nothing to do with their craft.
Karen, however, seems very aware of her father’s global cultural impact, and her statement includes a nod to that:
“But it’s wonderful that he’s left the legacy of his books and Paddington that will live on for ever, which is really very special.”
“The whole world is lucky to have had him … Paddington himself is so real to all of us. He’s still a part of our family and we’re very lucky.”
We can’t imagine how hard it is to to tailor your response to fans while you’re still grieving.
Karen Jankel continues, honoring her father’s work.
“For him, writing was his life. It was wonderful he could continue writing until the end,” she said. “Because … Paddington and his other characters were so real to him, he became alive to everybody else.”
But she doesn’t leave out his character.
“You can tell just by reading his books what a lovely person he was. I never came across anybody who disliked my father. He was one of those people that people instinctively warmed to and he was as funny as a person and delightful as he was in his writing and as a father”
That is incredibly touching.
A lot of people grew up with Paddington Bear, and most of them are old enough to appreciate the joy that this man’s creation brought them as children.
Future children will enjoy Paddington Bear all the same — that’s the magic of creating a legacy like that.
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