Sophia Bush Fought With Her ‘One Tree Hill’ Boss Over Her 16-Year-Old Character’s Underwear Scenes

Sophia Bush says she “fought a lot” with the writers of One Tree Hill, especially when she was instructed to strip down to her underwear to play her then-teenaged character, Brooke Davis.

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Bush, 37, described the on-set arguments while talking to Ashley Graham for the latest episode of the model’s “Pretty Big Deal” podcast. “I was sort of unaware of the power dynamics at play and I would just say things,” she said. “I’d be like, ‘I’m not doing this.’”

Sophia Bush Fought With Her One Tree Hill Boss Over Underwear Scenes
Sophia Bush attends the Schiaparelli Spring/Summer 2020 show at Paris Fashion Week on January 20, 2020. J M HAEDRICH/SIPA/Shutterstock

Then she recalled her conflict with her boss on the WB-turned-CW drama. “At the time I didn’t realize how inappropriate it was, but again, this is a long time ago,” she began. “I remember my boss kept writing scenes for me to be in my underwear. And I was like, ‘I’m not doing this. This is inappropriate. Like, I don’t think this is what we should be teaching 16-year-old girls to be doing, to be seeking validation this way.’”

She went on: “And he was like, ‘Well, you’re not 16.’ And I said, ‘But I’m playing 16, and if you want somebody to do it so badly, like, get somebody else to do it.’ And he literally said to me, ‘Well, you’re the one with the big f–king rack everybody wants to see.’ And I was like, ‘What? Well, I’m not doing it!’”

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Bush said she spitefully showed up in a turtleneck when it came time to film the next episode. “I was like, ‘This is just how I’m gonna dress on the show from now on if you don’t stop writing these scenes,’” she told Graham, 32. “I was really ballsy, and I didn’t even know it. I just wasn’t wanting to perpetuate this sort of behavior that I didn’t think was appropriate. … So that was me Joan of Arc-ing.”

In the podcast, Bush didn’t name the supervisor in question, but she and 17 other female One Tree Hill colleagues published an open letter in November 2017 to speak out about the sexual misconduct allegations against Mark Schwahn, the creator of the show.

“Mark Schwahn’s behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an ‘open secret,’” the women wrote in the letter. “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.”

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In a June 2018 episode of Andy Cohen Live, Bush described her own experience with the 53-year-old. “The first time Mark Schwahn grabbed my ass, I hit him in front of six other producers, and I hit him f–king hard,” she said. “He came back to L.A., and I was told years later by one of the then writers who became an [executive producer], that he came back being like ‘That f–king entitled bitch! Who does she think she is?’ And this very sweet man, Mike, who I love and is like a ride-or-die for me, was like, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t touch the girls.’”

The Chicago P.D. alum added Schwahn gave Mike an option to “shut up and keep your job or get out.”

In the wake of allegations, Schwahn was fired from his role as showrunner, creator and executive producer of the E! drama The Royals.

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