The day after Netflix confirmed an executive had unknowingly told one of Danny Masterson’s four rape accusers the company didn’t believe the claims, the streaming giant has officially dropped the actor from The Ranch. Whether the decision resulted from the allegations’ increased public profile since the post-Harvey Weinstein fallout, or Monday’s Huffington Post story regarding Netflix executive (and director of global kids content) Andy Yeatman, remains to be seen. Either way, Tuesday’s statement announcing Masterson’s forced departure from the Ashton Kutcher series leaves little to the imagination.
“As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of ‘The Ranch.’ Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him,” a Netflix spokesman said.
The accusations against Masterson initially resurfaced in early November, when news of his sexual assault case’s becoming stalled by the Los Angeles court system went viral. Former Scientologist Leah Remini interviewed Masterson’s alleged victims for her documentary series and later claimed the controversial church was behind the problems bogging down his court case. Even so, the optics of Netflix’s delayed action aren’t the prettiest, which was quick to boot star Kevin Spacey from House of Cards soon after numerous accusations of sexual harassment and assault against him surfaced.
UPDATE: In a statement to Huffington Post, Masterson “denied” the accusations against him and expressed his disappointment at Netflix’s decision to drop him from The Ranch:
“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,” Masterson said in a statement provided to HuffPost by his attorney.
The statement continued: “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.”
(Via Huffington Post)