One Tree Hill fans will remember when three of the stars appeared on the cover of Maxim (an American men’s magazine). But recently, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz and Sophia Bush have made claims about what allegedly went on behind the scenes of the show’s fourth season – which aired in October 2006.
In a new episode of their podcast (28 November), Drama Queens, the three women claimed they were coerced into doing the Maxim cover shoot, despite them not wanting to.
The women described their reasoning for not wanting to do the shoot too. Sophia, who played Brooke Davis, said her character had already been “so sexualised” in the show. “I was like, ‘Look, if the girls want to do it, that’s great. I don’t. I have gone into battle trying to make Brooke less of this thing that you guys tried to force me into. I don’t want to do it,’” she remarked.
“I literally got told, ‘If you do not go and shoot this cover with your co-stars, we will guarantee you that you will never be let out for a press day, a movie, an event, any of your charities. We will keep you here forever’.”
Likewise, Hilarie, who played Peyton Sawyer, recalls being coerced into doing the shoot. She claimed that she was sat down and pitched the idea of doing a cover shoot, allegedly telling her: “All the other shows have been on the cover of every single magazine, and no one wants you guys. You finally have someone who wants you, and you’re really going to turn your nose up at that?'
“It was very much a, ‘No one wants you, the studio wants to cancel your show. You don’t start to generate some buzz and attract these male numbers, we’re dead and all your friends are going to lose their jobs’,” she alleged.
Hilarie added: “At that time, I said, ‘No I don’t want to do this’ and was told I had to. It was such a profound threat. I would come into work, do my [scenes] and I wanted out. I wanted to go home, I wanted to be with my family. I wanted to be with my friends. I did not want to be on our set, it was not a safe place for me. This was such a threat to safety.”
Joy, who played Haley James Scott, also made allegations of receiving horrific treatment during the shoot. She claimed someone on the production team told her that she was “too fat” to be on the magazine cover. In fact, she said she was “replaced” on the Maxim cover by their other co-star, Danneel Ackles.
Joy said: “They told me that they didn’t come to me because I was too fat. I wasn’t a hot girl on the show.”
Hilarie and Sophie appeared shocked to hear Joy's account, and said they were made to believe she was asked and had said no [to being on the magazine cover].
In response to Joy's claim, Sophia said: “When I said I don’t want to do it, I was like, ‘But Joy’s not doing it! She said no. Why does she get to say no?’ They go, ‘Well, she said no, so you have to say yes. She said no first’,” Bush claimed.
“They scapegoated you to tell the three of us we couldn’t say no. We weren’t mad at you but we were pissed about it.”
All three former stars of the TV series have been talking about the show on their podcast for the past year – since June 2021.
Cosmopolitan UK has reached out to both Warner Bros and Maxim for comment.
You can listen to the podcast, Drama Queens, on Spotify here.
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