Hilarie Burton Slams One Tree Hill for Having "Men Telling the Stories of Girl Sexuality"

After a Twitter user showed Hilarie Burton a surprising way a One Tree Hill photo was being used, the actress spoke out against the way women were allegedly treated on the show.

By Corinne Heller Mar 04, 2021 6:57 PMTags
Watch: James Lafferty on His "One Tree Hill" Character

Hilarie Burton wants a One Tree Hill "do-over with a girl boss."

On Tuesday, March 2, Twitter user Karleigh Kebartas (@stylesimba) shared an image of a publicity pic of Burton and co-star Chad Michael Murray as characters Peyton and Lucas, above a printed caption that read, "Adolescents are exposed to sex in many contexts, including TV and the Internet. Is it surprising, then, that adolescents are so curious about sex and tempted to experiment with sex?"

Kerbartas wrote, "@HilarieBurton look at what I found in my adolescent psychology textbook !!!" She told E! News that the passage is from the 17th edition of John W. Santrock's book Adolescence.

Burton replied to the Twitter user that she was "embarrassed by this," adding, "Teen girl sexuality was a cornerstone of #oth so its gross to me that there were no women in positions of power there. No one we could turn to to advocate for us. Men telling the stories of girl sexuality is a red flag. I want a do-over with a girl boss."

The photo of Burton and Peyton that the Twitter user posted shows a scene from One Tree Hill's sixth season, which featured their characters as adults, several years after high school. However, the show did often depict many teenage students, including Peyton, in intimate scenes since season one.

One Tree Hill: Where Are They Now?

Mark Schwahn was the creator and main screenwriter of One Tree Hill, which aired between 2003 and 2012. More than two dozen screenwriters helped write episodes for the show, including 10 women.

Schwann was accused of sexual harassment by 18 cast and crew members, including Burton, in an open letter published in November 2017. In her 2020 memoir The Rural Diaries: Love, Livestock, and Big Life Lessons Down on Mischief Farm, Burton wrote, "In my particular fairy tale there had been a villain who pitted female actors against one another, pushed us to do gratuitous sex scenes that always left me feeling ill and ashamed, told young female actors to stick their chests out, put his hands on all of us, and pushed himself on me, forcing unwanted kisses."

© Warner Bros. Television/Entertainment Pictures via ZUMA Press

Schwann has never commented on the allegations.

—Additional reporting by Beth Sobol