An ally through and through. Tom Austen took to Twitter on Thursday, November 16, to express his support for his female costars on The Royals amid allegations of sexual misconduct against the E! series’ showrunner, Mark Schwahn.
“To the women of The Royals, you are and always have been the beating heart and light of this show, and a light that will refuse to be put out,” the British actor, 30, wrote on the microblogging platform. “To all who shook off the years of manipulation, intimidation and denigration I could not be more inspired and full of love for you finding your voice together. A voice that for so long we were all told wouldn’t make a difference and wouldn’t be heard.”
Austen praised his colleagues for holding their heads high despite their alleged inappropriate experiences with Schwahn, 51. “We came together to work in a place that promised safety, security and respect for all and despite one individual’s efforts to destroy that, you overcame,” the Grantchester star continued. “Today you are stronger and braver than you’ve ever been allowed to think you are.”
The Jo actor then reaffirmed his unwavering support for his colleagues: “To all who watched the show — know these women are bigger heroes than anyone could have ever hope to write them in a script. I give every last ounce of my support to you as I always have and always will, you are changing the way for those who will follow us and allowing this to become all of our new normal.”
As previously reported, numerous have come forward with sexual harassment claims against Schwahn. The Royals’ Alexandra Park shared her alleged experience in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday, November 15. “I have a responsibility as someone who was working under Mark Schwahn on The Royals to acknowledge these claims,” the 28-year-old actress wrote. “I am devastated to admit to myself, my colleagues, and to this industry that I to, have been exposed to this reprehensible behavior.”
Park’s costar Elizabeth Hurley, who says she has never experienced Schwahn’s alleged behavior, has also spoken out about the claims. “I have loved working alongside Alexandra and Mark for four years while shooting The Royals, and had absolutely no idea that she was feeling frightened and sexually intimated by Mark during this time,” the 52-year-old actress wrote in an open letter on Twitter. “I have never thought of myself as unobservant, in fact quite the opposite, but I missed this and feel like I have let down a younger cast member. I could have helped her. I would have helped her. But I didn’t know.”
One Tree Hill alums Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Jana Kramer and more have also condemned Schwahn and accused him of sexual misconduct during their show, which aired from 2003 to 2012.
E! suspended Schwahn from the network on Wednesday, November 15. “E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action,” the network said in a statement to Us Weekly. “Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from The Royals as we continue our investigation.”