Actor Danny Masterson has been written out of the Netflix show “The Ranch” following mounting allegations of rape.
Deadline reported that Masterson has been accused by four women of raping them in the early 2000s. The recent high-profile crackdowns on sexual harassment in Hollywood and other media have prompted more scrutiny.
“As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday, according to Variety. “Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him.”
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“The Ranch” is a multi-camera comedy from Netflix and co-stars Ashton Kutcher, Masterson’s longtime friend and former “That 70’s Show” co-star. The show, usually released in 10-episode batches, is set to premiere part four Dec. 15. Variety reported that Masterson is not expected to appear in episodes released after the 15th. The number of episodes to be released this month are not known.
One accuser filed a police report in 2004 saying Masterson raped her in 2003.
The Huffington Post reported Monday that an unnamed victim was told by Andy Yeatman, Netflix director of global kids content, that the streaming company doesn’t believe Masterson’s accusers. She said she responded, “I’m one of them.” The website reported the conversation happened Sunday in Los Angeles, where Yeatman and the woman had children playing in a soccer game.
Netflix confirmed what Yeatman said about Netflix execs not believing Masterson’s accusers in a statement.
“While he was coaching a youth soccer match (Sunday), Mr. Yeatman ― a Netflix kids’ programming executive ― was approached by a stranger who did not identify herself or explain her connection to Danny Masterson,” the statement said, according to HuffPost. “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.”
The allegations against Masterson are currently under investigation by the Los Angeles County district attorney and Los Angeles Police Department.
Masterson said all the encounters were consensual and denies rape allegations. He responded to the news of being written out of “The Ranch” in a statement provided to HuffPost by his attorney Tuesday:
“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.”
The latest change to a Netflix show comes a day after a report that Netflix’s final season of “House of Cards,” which once co-starred Kevin Spacey, will be led only by Robin Wright. Spacey was removed from production after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged from actor Anthony Rapp and by “House of Cards” employees.
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