Danny Masterson Was Reportedly Fired From Netflix's 'The Ranch' Amid Rape Allegations
According to a statement from the streaming service, Danny Masterson has reportedly been fired from Netflix's The Ranch amid the rape allegations against him that have recently resurfaced, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Police Department released a statement confirming that they were investigating the former That '70s Show star after three women alleged to the police department that he sexually assaulted them in the early 2000s — claims that Masterson has denied. But even though the investigation was ongoing, Netflix hadn't made any announcements about Masterson leaving as part of the cast on The Ranch's until now.
On Tuesday morning, the company announced that Masterson had been written out of the show and that production will resume next year without him.
"As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch," Netflix's statement reads, according to Variety. “Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him."
In response, Masterson released a statement via his attorney to The Huffington Post. It reads,
I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of The Ranch. From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all.
Bustle has reached out to a rep and a lawyer for Masterson for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication. Bustle has also reached out to Netflix for clarity on whether he was "fired" as some reports state, and received the same statement as above from a Netflix spokesperson.
According to Deadline, the fourth part of the series (the second half of Season 2) will still hit Netflix on December 15 as planned, with Masterson in those episodes, but the actor will not film any future episodes. So far, the service hasn't shared any details about the way Masterson's character will make his exit, but it will undoubtedly have an impact since he's part of the main cast.
On Monday, The Huffington Post reported that Netflix executive Andy Yeatman told one of the women who accused Masterson that the service didn't believe the four women who accused him, before he realized that she was one of the accusers. Reportedly, the woman approached Yeatman at a soccer game to ask him why Netflix hadn't taken action against the actor.
In response, Netflix released the following statement to The Huffington Post:
While he was coaching a youth soccer match today, Mr. Yeatman ― a Netflix kids’ programming executive ― was approached by a stranger who did not identify herself or explain her connection to Danny Masterson. Mr. Yeatman’s comments were careless, uninformed and do not represent the views of the company. Further, he would have no insights into decision making on The Ranch. We are aware of the allegations against Danny Masterson and we are following the current investigation, and will respond if developments occur.
UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, Dec. 13, the Netflix executive has reportedly been fired from the company. "Mr. Yeatman is no longer employed at Netflix," said a spokesperson to Bustle. Yeatman declined to comment on the story, and a representative for him could not be reached.
EARLIER: Bustle reached out to Netflix for additional comment and for comment on Yeatman's behalf, but did not receive a response.
Less than 24 hours after The Huffington Post's report, news broke that Masterson wouldn't be returning to The Ranch.
The news of Masterson leaving The Ranch amid allegations against him also comes only one day after Netflix said that House of Cards will proceed with Robin Wright as the star of Season 6 and without Kevin Spacey.