One Tree Hill: Burn It Down, Sis

This past few months have been quite emotional for Hollywood. After initial accounts of sexual assault, dozens (if not, hundreds) of other women have come out with their own stories to tell. An upsetting list on the New York Times continues to update each day with more and more people with power in Hollywood who have inflicted long-term trauma on cast and crew alike.

During the week before Thanksgiving, Audrey Wauchope, former writer for The CW’s One Tree Hill, decided to share her story of sexual harassment as part of the crew for the hit teen drama. In a series of tweets, she documented how the showrunner for one of the two shows she wrote for at the time (One Tree Hill and Cougar Town) invoked fear in female members of cast and crew; she stated that it was not the showrunner for Cougar Town.

As a big fan of the show, I was surprised to hear of this (to say the least). One Tree Hill and the story it told meant a lot to me as a teenager growing up with her own doubts and securities, even if I had only just started watching it this past year. It empowered people to speak their hearts and had so many strong and influential female leads like Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush), Haley James Scott (Bethany Joy Lenz), and Peyton Sawyer (Hilarie Burton) that fans could look up to.

What shocked me the most was that despite how feminist the women on One Tree Hill had all grown to be throughout their nine seasons together, they all still dealt with the showrunner sexually harassing female cast and crew in the workplace. It’s unacceptable and I hope there are serious repercussions for their despicable behavior.

That said, I was so happy to see the OTH family come together with their individual voices to form a unity from the previously unseen rubble. I’m also glad to see that both the story and the impact of One Tree Hill have remained unwavering. I think the community support has grown stronger and proven (yet again) that justice can win in face of any obstacles. Even though I was only a toddler at the time the show debuted more than a decade ago in 2003, the lessons learned by not only its characters but its viewers are timeless.

I’m grateful that the female members of One Tree Hill’s cast and crew have further inspired people to speak up by talking about their experiences facing harassment and oppression in Hollywood.

After all, the more voices we have, the louder we’re heard. So burn it down, sis.