We are One Tree Hill.

For Hilarie, Sophia, Joy, Danneel, Kate, Bevin, Daphne, India, Moira, Debra, Shantel, Allison, Jana, Torrey, Audrey and all of the women who worked on One Tree Hill:

Your art matters, and I am so sorry that you had to go through this in order to share that art with the world.

Mary Shelley once wrote, “nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”

I peered up from the damp grass at the river ahead and listened to the water lapping the shore. I couldn’t believe where I stood. Twelve years prior, magic had occurred beneath my feet- magic that began with one man putting fingers to a keyboard.

Six billion souls in the world, and all it took was one. This one person’s act of typing brought all of us together to this place from all over the world. That was when it clicked.

“I want to be a writer. I want to impact someone with words the way Mark Schwann has impacted me.”

It’s astonishing the way one statement can mean different things to different people. After fourteen years of silence, we now know that the women who worked on One Tree Hill were impacted by Schwahn’s words and actions, but in the most abhorrent, disgusting way possible.

One Tree Hill is more than just a show. It’s a lesson in compassion, love and perseverance, a source of hope and strength- a place where everything’s better and everything’s safe.

Except it doesn’t feel that safe anymore.

A show that means so much to so many is now tainted by the very man who made it. Sadness, anger, feeling betrayed or even nothing at all are all normal, okay emotions to feel; he had us all fooled, after all. The beauty of One Tree Hill, however, is that its lessons live on.

Mark Schwahn once wrote, “you know what? Tragedies happen. What are you gonna do? Give up? Quit? No. I realize now that when your heart breaks, you gotta fight like hell to make sure you’re still alive. Because you are.”

Victor Frankenstein recklessly created a monster whose power soon surpassed anything he’d anticipated, and that is exactly what Schwahn has done, here. In creating this world, he also created a monster: an army of fans armed with the words and lessons his creations taught us. This is the part where the monster turns on the doctor.

Mark Schwahn is not One Tree Hill– we are. The actors and fans are the ones who brought this show to the world, and the ones who keep its legacy going more than five years after its end. Now more than ever is the time to write like Lucas, create like Peyton, love like Brooke, make your voice heard like Haley and persevere like Nathan. It’s his turn to be silenced- by all of us.

What you do matters. And how you do it matters.

Burn it down, sisters.

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