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Sophia Bush Describes Standing Up To Her 'One Tree Hill' Boss Over 'Inappropriate' Scenes

Gettyimages | Jemal Countess
By Lynne Versluys
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Speaking Out Against Toxic Work Environments

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One Tree Hill star Sophia Bush was a guest on Ashley Graham's "Pretty Big Deal" podcast, and she opened up about the toxic experiences that she had on the classic CW show. She explained to Graham that she felt protective of her character Brooke Davis and clashed with the bosses over "inappropriate" scenes.

"I brought a lot [of myself] to her. I fought a lot with the writers... I was sort of unaware of the power dynamics at play and I would just say things. I'd be like, 'I'm not doing this.'"

Pushing Back

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She continued, explaining her reasoning for her frustration.

"There was this sort of really weird thing... you look back at it, at the time I didn't realize how inappropriate it was, but again, this is a long time ago. 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 and to be seeking validation this way."

Her boss, One Tree Hill showrunner Mark Schwahn's response? "Well, you’re not 16."

Spiting The Boss

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Still, Bush stood her ground.

"And I said, 'But I'm playing 16, and if you want somebody to do it so badly, get somebody else to do it. And he literally said to me, 'Well you're the one with the big f---ing rack everybody wants to see.' And I was like, 'What?! Well, I'm not doing it!'"

Bush's response was to show up in a turtleneck to film the scene.

"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. 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."

Not The First Time She's Mentioned Problems On Set

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This isn't the first time that Bush has spoken out about the "toxic" atmosphere of the One Tree Hill set. She explained on Dax Shepard's podcast Armchair Expert back in 2018:

"Our experience on One Tree Hill wasn't unpleasant, but our boss who was a bad dude who lived in L.A.. Eighty percent of the time we were on set loving our experience and each other, and then he would come to town and it'd be like, 'Watch out for f---ing Handsy-McHandsy over there.' There was a lot that was inappropriate but it wasn't all the time... it wasn't the same."

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