Sophia Bush is the unforgettable Brooke Davis in One Tree Hill, sure, but she is also an inspiring activist. She fights for causes she believes in on social media, in interviews and in “real life”.

Sophia Bush was born in Pasadena, California in 1982, from two photographers. She was really into volleyball growing up and was forced to take part in a play to graduate high school. A great push from destiny that led the world to know the fascinating actress and inspiring activist she is today.

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An acting career that includes two iconic TV shows

She appeared in a few small productions before landing the starring role of Brooke Davis in the WB/CW teen drama One Tree Hill in 2003. This is probably still her most well-known role. Brooke Davis went from a partying trouble-making cheerleader to a loyal friend, talented designer and loving mother. Through the years, she became a fan favorite, due to her big heart and character development. Bush directed three episodes on the last season of the show.

Brooke Davis in One Tree Hill, GIF from tenor

From One Tree Hill (2003-2012), she went on to star as Detective Erin Lindsay in the NBC police drama Chicago P.D. (2013-2017) and appeared in Chicago Fire and Chicago Med as the same character.

She also starred in movies in-between seasons of One Tree Hill such as John Tucker Must Die (2006) and The Narrow (2008) or more recently in Marshall (2017) or Acts of Violence (2018). She also voiced Karen/Voyd in the Incredibles 2 (2018).

Fierce defender of human and environmental rights

Sophia Bush has always been vocal about her beliefs. She publicly supported Barck Obama in the 2008 presidential election. She fights for LGBTQIA+ rights, supported marriage equality and appeared in the Human Rights Campaign following the Orlando shooting of 2016. She also fights for the protection of the environment and women’s rights, and advocates for gun control. She uses her social media platform as a way to raise awareness on world events and to shed light on fundraisers she cares about. She encourages her followers to get involved in activism.

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Bush is a founding member of Time’s Up. She was one of the first celebrities to sign the letter that launched the Time’s Up movement against sexual harassment, following #MeToo. Time’s Up sets up a fund to defend low-income victims of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, advocates for a change in legislation on harassment, and pushes for gender equality in entertainment. Bush also designed a clothing line and gave the profits to planned parenthood. In addition, she spoke at the Women’s March on January 20, 2018 and openly supported Christine Blasey Ford in the fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

The actress has been vocal about how the industry can be a very toxic environment for women. Alongside her co-stars from One Tree Hill, she denounced Mark Schwahn’s behavior. He was accused of sexual harassment by many women (more than 40!). She also publicly revealed that she had a really hard time while filming Chicago P.D., which led her to leave the TV series after season 4, even though she had signed a seven-year contract. She said that it “was a consistent onslaught barrage of abusive behavior” and that she was once assaulted in a room full of men who did nothing.

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Sophia Bush is a white woman, and as such, she benefits from certain privileges in comparison to other minorities. This is something she is acutely aware of, and talks about on social media. She often uses her platform to bring attention to issues that concern minorities. She often talks about white privilege and puts up links to accounts of women of color that helped to educate her. She considers herself a “work in progress”, which is the title of the podcast she launched in September 2019. In it, she has conversations with people she is inspired by. Her first guest was feminist and living legend, Gloria Steinem.

Article by Juliette Cardinale