Hilarie Burton Says “No One Advocated” For the Women of ‘One Tree Hill’

The actress says she wants "a do-over with a girl boss."

Hilarie Burton, a.k.a. Peyton Sawyer from One Tree Hill, is speaking out about the lack of advocacy she had as a young woman on the set of the high school drama. Her statement came in response to a Twitter user who stumbled upon a photo of Burton and One Tree Hill co-star Chad Michael Murray in one of her textbooks.

The Twitter user shared the photo and tagged Burton, writing, “look at what I found in my adolescent psychology textbook !!!” The photo itself, which shows the co-stars being affectionate as love interests Peyton and Lucas, is pretty neutral. However, the context it’s presented in—which condemns media like One Tree Hill as the reason for teen sexual experimentation—is not.

Underneath the photo reads: “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?

This commentary didn’t sit well with Burton. “Embarrassed by this,” the actress wrote in response. “Teen girl sexuality was a cornerstone of #oth, so [it’s] 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, she continued. I want a do-over with a girl boss.

Sophia Bush, who played Brooke Davis in the high school drama, responded to a tweet with the words “co-sign” and a red heart emoji.

“Me three. I’m breathing a sigh of relief just thinking about a woman making those wardrobe decisions!” Kate Voegele, who played recurring guest star Mia Catalano on the series, wrote.

Bush and Burton were both 20 when they started their roles as 16-year-olds, and this isn’t the first time either of them have spoken out about the show.

In her memoir released last year, Burton alleged that OTH creator Mark Schwahn was verbally abusive, touched her inappropriately, and kissed her against her will. Bush has also spoken about arguing with the show’s writers over “inappropriate” scenes.

“I remember my boss kept writing scenes for me to be in my underwear,” Bush said during an interview for Ashley Graham’s Pretty Big Deal podcast last year. “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.'” The boss allegedly responded, “Well, you’re not 16.”

With all the show reunions and revivals over the past year, maybe there is hope for a “girl boss” to take over and let the women have more control in One Tree Hill reboot. We at least know we’d love to see it.

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