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Hilarie Burton Leaving Drama Queens – And One Tree Hill Fans Suspect MORE Behind-The-Scenes Drama! 

Well… It’s the end of an era. Hilarie Burton is leaving the Drama Queens podcast — and fans are PISSED!!

One Tree Hill stars Hilarie, Sophia Bush, and Bethany Joy Lenz have been reliving their CW days on their Drama Queens rewatch podcast since 2021. But during Monday’s latest episode, the girls had a big announcement to share — Hilarie is leaving!

Their explanation? Her character wasn’t on the show anymore after Season 6! Instead they’re adding a brand new Drama Queen to the show, co-star Robert Buckley. He joined OTH in Season 7, so Hilarie claimed he’d be a better fit to share set secrets moving forward. She explained:

“We have reached the end of my behind-the-scenes experience on the show, and so I really started to question what I brought to this, but also how we keep that storytelling alive and important. And so as we head into seasons seven through nine, it was important that we introduced a new queen who could take over for me.”

The actress is still an EP of the podcast and plans to “pop in here and there,” but she won’t be a regular host anymore. That kinda sucks for longtime listeners! Just like her brutal Season 6 exit, she’s once again bowing out early! So, what gives, really??

Related: Chad Michael Murray Had A ‘Really Pained Heart’ After Sophia Divorce

Well, there’s been drama behind the scenes that may explain it…

S**t started to hit the fan earlier this year when Joy announced an upcoming memoir. It’s all about her time in an IRL cult and on a cult show. Seems cool, but she’s hardly received any support from her so-called gal pals. In fact, Hilarie seemed to throw shade when it was announced — seemingly because the book cover copied her own! See the comparisons (below):

The drama goes deeper than a book, though. Per sources, Hilarie and Sophia haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye with Joy for a while because of her “values” — especially related to the LGBTQ+ community (of which Sophia is now a proud member, remember). It’s reportedly even affected their business opportunities and ad deals. Not good! While chatting about the BTS beef back in March, a source told Deuxmoi:

“Joy definitely had a big part in why Hilarie was not asked back to return after Season 6.”

And now, it looks like Joy might also be the reason Hilarie’s leaving the podcast early, too! At least, fans are pointing fingers at Joy! In the comments on a viral TikTok about the departure, one listener pointed out:

“Over the course of the 6 seasons she would say things like ‘I can’t wait til we get those seasons’”

But suddenly she no longer cares?! Yeah, something seems off! Other fans reacted to the news, writing:

“I cannot believe they made us relive Peyton Sawyer leaving the show for a second time in real life”

“The Joy Lenz beef runs DEEP!”

“Guarantee when Joy has a conflict, Hilarie will show up — and only then”

@brittanypaigedesigns

the dynamic is just going to be so off i am so sad #oth #dramaqueens #onetreehill #hilarieburton #sophiabush #peytonsawyer

♬ original sound – Brittany Paige

Over on the show’s official Instagram fans also had torn feelings about the news, complaining:

“I am very happy for Robert’s presence, very much so. I just hope it’s not a ploy to cover the fracture that has been created and which is evident to everyone. However, I believe that at some point it would be nice to have an answer from you regarding the detachment that we have all perceived. We loved the podcast, we loved this sisterhood of yours, we loved this collective therapy that the podcast allowed you to do and now it’s clear that something is wrong.”

“Committe[d] three years of faithfully listening to this podcast so I can hear Hilaries input on the absolutely unhinged seasons 7-9 for her to not be on it anymore. I am disproportionately disappointed by this. I’m so sorry ilysm but I’m so so sad.”

“So the beef between Joy and Hilarie is that bad huh?”

Someone else clued in on another odd thing about the timeline of this addition, writing:

“Rob says he and Hil were texting [about the opportunity] around the time they announced video episodes would be uploaded on YouTube bc he thought he was the big announcement. That was back in March. The timeline is… interesting.”

That means Hilarie’s been planning her exit since around the time the Drama Queens scandal first made waves online. Damn. That kind of does make it seem like the feud was a huge reason for this decision! Oof!

It’s also innteresting that Sophia would press on with the show considering she’s made her feelings about Joy’s political views VERY public. Plus, she’s in a lesbian relationship, and if Joy’s as homophobic as the rumors make it seem, well, that makes a true friendship challenging. But we’re sure there are contracts involved — and, of course, money on the table — that makes it hard for her to walk away! At least Rob will act as a buffer we guess?

It’s going to be interesting to see how this show moves forward and if they ever address any of this controversy! One thing’s for certain, the Drama Queens know how to stir up drama!

Thoughts? Are you sad about this change?? Do you think it has to do with Joy? Sound OFF (below)!

[Image via MEGA/WENN]




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