“One Tree Hill” alumni stars Hilarie Burton Morgan and Sophia Bush claimed that their careers were threatened and they were coerced into doing a sexy Maxim photo shoot for its November 2006 cover, which neither said they wanted to do.
Morgan and Bush both claimed they were essentially told they had to do the shoot by show’s creator, Mark Schwahn, or face a variety of consequences, during this week’s podcast “Drama Queens” on Monday, the Hollywood Reporter reported.
“It was very much a, ‘No one else wants you, the studio wants to cancel your show. If you don’t start to generate some buzz and attract these male numbers, we’re dead and all your friends are going to lose their jobs,'” Morgan — who played Peyton Sawyer on the CW series explained.
Hilarie Burton Morgan, Sophia Bush Allege ‘One Tree Hill’ Showrunner Told Them to do ‘Maxim’ Shoot or “Lose Their Jobs” https://t.co/yKdOZA1obt
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 30, 2022
“We got told we had to do it,” Bush — who played Brooke Davis — added. “Because Brooke had been so sexualized on the show and the whole idea of this hometown hottie was Rachel’s storyline. I was like, ‘Look, if the girls want to do it, that’s great. I don’t.”
“… And I literally got told, ‘If you do not go and shoot this cover with your co-stars, we will guarantee you that you will never be let out for a press day, a movie, an event, any of your charities. We will keep you here forever,'” she added.
Their former co-star, Bethany Joy Lenz, told Bush and Morgan she was told she couldn’t do the shoot because she was “too fat.” Both co-stars said it was news to them, because they were told Lenz had turned down the offer. Lenz played Haley James Scott on the hit series, Page Six noted.
“They told me that they didn’t come to me because I was too fat,” Lenz told her co-stars on the podcast. “I wasn’t a hot girl on the show anymore.”
In 2017, Schwahn was accused of sexually harassing several members of the “One Tree Hill” cast and crew five years after the show finished, the outlet noted. The list included Morgan, Bush, and Lenz, all three who previously alleged he had “manipulated” them “psychologically and emotionally,” the Hollywood Reporter noted.
The former showrunner never addressed the accusations publicly and was fired a short time later from his role as showrunner of E!’s “The Royals” following accusations of sexual misconduct and an investigation, Page Six noted.