Rachel Bilson says she was confused by Mischa Barton’s claim about bullying on set while filming The OC (Picture: Nine)
Rachel Bilson has reacted to her former co-star Mischa Barton’s claim that ‘bullying’ on set caused the Marissa Cooper actress to quit their hit show, The OC.
In the latest episode of Rachel’s Welcome To The OC B***hes podcast with fellow castmate Melinda Clarke, the pair shared their thoughts about their former co-star’s headline-making comments.
Opening up about her ‘complicated’ exit from the show last month, Mischa alleged she was bullied behind the scenes.
‘It started pretty early on because it had a lot to do with them adding Rachel [Bilson] in last minute as, after the first season, a series regular and evening out everybody’s pay—and sort of general bullying from some of the men on set that kind of felt really sh*tty,’ she told E! news.
She added to the publication: ‘There were people on that set that were very mean to me. It wasn’t, like, the most ideal environment for a young, sensitive girl who’s also been thrust into stardom to have to put up with.’
Speaking to podcaster Danny Pellegrino, Rachel began: ‘Melinda and I were talking immediately after the interview came out and we were like, “Wait, what?”‘
Melinda mused: ‘I can tell you about my experience with total transparency and honesty but I can’t speak about someone else’s experience.
‘We have touched on this before that for someone who was 16/17, that amount of hours of work and pressure at such a young age, at best, you’re exhausted. At worst, it’s overwhelming and chaotic so it breaks my heart to know it was that bad of an experience. That’s not right for any young person.’
The actress – who played Julie Cooper – continued: ‘But some of the comments were very perplexing to me, so I don’t know what the truth is about that.’
Mischa shocked fans when she quit the show after three seasons – which she claims was due to her treatment by men involved in the show (Picture: Everett/REX/Shutterstock)
Rachel – who famously starred as Summer Roberts – jumped back in as she added: ‘The one thing that I can say is that in one of her first comments she says that I was added in last minute after the season which is actually completely false and not what happened.
‘So [the interview] starting out that way I was like, “Well that’s misinformation, where are we going with this and what is she trying to say?” I would like to talk to her and find out what her experience was from her perspective because I saw things a little differently.’
Melinda explained that the pair were originally going to be series regulars during the pilot, but ‘the powers that be’ said they had to be guest stars for the first batch of episodes – which contradicts Mischa’s claim.
Castmate Melinda Clarke also said she found Mischa’s claim ‘perplexing’ (Picture: Nine)
The 52-year-old revealed her empathy for Mischa as she added: ‘We all do know now that in the early 2000s, the scrutiny of the young ladies going out – Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Mischa – there was a lot of attention.
‘Just by being out there, somehow that got turned against them and we’re finding out that they had been in quite a toxic environment. Rachel and I both think if she would love to come and talk to us and share her story, we would love to explore that.’
The show became a cultural phenomenon after it launched in 2003 (Picture: Warner Bros Tv/Kobal/REX)
She continued: ‘It is something we are all becoming aware of and it’s important for us to learn in our culture – what can be very damaging to young people?
‘Hollywood is notorious for doing 18-20 hours days. It’s not for the faint of heart, let’s put it that way. And being that young, I think that is an additional stress.’
When Danny asked about the rumors about behavior on set, Rachel responded: ‘I’m pretty confused by most of it. I don’t know who she was referring to because I didn’t personally witness any of that so I don’t know who she’s referring to – or what – because I didn’t see any of it.
Rachel is looking back on her OC days in a new recap podcast with Melinda Clarke titled Welcome To The OC B***hes (Picture: l/REX)
Melinda agreed as she chimed: ‘I did not either. Like I said, everyone has their own experiences.’
Rachel openly invited Mischa onto the recap podcast so the former co-stars could hear more about Mischa’s ‘entire perspective on what she says she experienced.’
So far on Welcome To The OC B****es, Rachel and Melinda have welcomed guests including show creator Josh Schwartz, Tate Donovan, who played Jimmy Cooper, and Peter Gallagher, who played Sandy Cohen, as they recap on season one episodes.
The OC ran for four seasons from 2003 until 2007.
Credit: Original article published here.