Burton, who starred as Peyton Sawyer on the teen drama series, recalled the "creepy" experience with her unnamed boss — who she referred to as 'Voldemort,' the villain from the 'Harry Potter' series
On the latest episode of her Drama Queens podcast, the 41-year-old actress looked back on how her One Tree Hill boss — whom she did not identify by name but referred to as "Voldemort," the villain from the Harry Potter series — made the decision to cast himself in the season 5 episode "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace" to bypass her silent treatment.
One Tree Hill — which ran for nine seasons from 2003 to 2012 — was created by Mark Schwahn, who also appeared as record store owner Max on the series.
Burton, who starred as Peyton Sawyer on the teen drama series, recalled inviting her dad to be on set for moral support after thinking the moment was “so creepy” when she received the script for the episode.
“I got the script and I was like, ‘All right, it’s one day of work. It’s just one day of work,’” she said. “And you know, my boyfriend’s dad [Gregory Prange] was directing, and my brother’s on set.”
She added, “There’s all these dudes on set and it just wasn’t quite enough, so I invited my dad to work this day, and my dad came and sat behind the monitor the whole day, which was kinda weird, right? Because he clearly wasn’t there to be friendly. He was just being a presence.”
Burton said she felt protected from her boss with her father on set, sharing, “You can’t touch me, you can’t pull me into a sidebar conversation, you can’t do any of that if I’m just making jokes with my dad.”
Her father upped the ante during a lunch break on the production as Burton recalled, “Voldemort goes off to the production office, where his office has like, a view of the parking lot.”
“And my dad and [sound mixer Michael Rayle] proceed to go out to parking and pull out bullwhips and start doing all these tricks and cracking them real loud... It was just like a message, like: Hey, don’t,” she continued.
This isn't the first time that Burton has opened up about her experiences on One Tree Hill.
In March, Burton spoke on her Drama Queens podcast about how her costar Chad Michael Murray stepped in to defend her against Schwahn during an alleged assault while on location in Honey Grove, Texas during the series' fourth season in 2007.
"Chad walked up and goes, 'What are you doing?' He said that to our boss in the bar," Burton said. "He watched our boss grab me in front of a lot of people, and you know, Chad didn't have anything to lose because he knew our boss hated him anyway.”
"A lot of people had a lot to lose, so you don't speak up when you have a lot to lose,” she continued. “But [our boss] felt so comfortable that that was not something that he had a problem with. [He thought], 'I can do whatever I want to her in public with her boyfriend standing there.'"
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In November 2017, Burton and Bush were among the 18 former female cast and crew members who accused Schwahn of sexual harassment.
"Mark Schwahn's behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an 'open secret,'" wrote the women 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," they continued. "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."
Schwahn has never spoken about any of the allegations, but he was later removed from his role as showrunner of E!'s The Royals after a group of 25 female cast and crew members on the series released a joint letter in which they claimed Schwahn "felt the inclination to abuse his power and influence in an environment where he had it over women who felt they did not."
"This manifested itself in the repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew," the letter said.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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