Sophia Bush is speaking out about her time on One Tree Hill.
During an interview on the Chicks in the Office podcast, the actress said there were many negatives while working on the show.
“We were in our early 20s playing high school kids, but we didn’t know anything. We were babies… We felt like little kids,” Bush said of her and the others who starred on the series, including Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, James Lafferty, and Chad Michael Murray.
“When we look back now, we realize how young we were and how naive we were, and how, unfortunately, we didn’t get to grow up on a set where people wanted to answer our questions or help us navigate any of the madness of the early aughts.”
Bush said that the overall experience was “actually kind of scary and intimidating and confusing.”
“It was weird because, in some ways, we were treated like adults. Looking back on it, we can see the ways in which we were fetishized, and we had this sort of lens of adultification put over us with this idea that we were supposed to know everything and have answers, and be, ultimately, professional,” she explained.
“When we didn’t even know what the technical terms were. It was like, ‘Get on your mark!’ And you’re like, ‘What are you talking about? What is a mark? What do you mean?’ We were expected to be these adults, and yet, we were also looked at kind of as pawns.”
Bush and other female stars of One Tree Hill wrote an open letter against Mark Schwahn, the show’s creator, saying that they were “manipulated psychologically and emotionally.”
They also wrote that “a few of us were put in positions where we felt physically unsafe.”
Bush also spoke out against producers of the series in 2018, saying they were “really deeply inappropriate” and that their conduct was “opportunistic and ugly.”
“We had grown-ups who we trusted, who now we understand were being really controlling and manipulative, who didn’t want us to be close ’cause they thought we would band together and ask for more money,” Bush said.
“It’s just so weird, and those were things we were not aware of at the time.”
“There was no social media where people were talking about this stuff and giving people advice, and figuring out if you were being paid equitably,” she continued.
“We didn’t have any of that. We were just in the dark.”
One Tree Hill aired from 2003-12 on The CW.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.