Netflix has dismissed Danny Masterson from the cast of its comedy series The Ranch in light of multiple accusations of rape against the actor.
“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, published by Variety. “Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him.”
Four women have accused Masterson in separate incidents of spiking their drinks and violently raping them during blackouts. The women say the evens occurred in the early 2000s. Calls for Masterson’s dismissal have grown louder over the past few weeks – particularly when the streaming service responded swiftly to allegations of sexual misconduct by Kevin Spacey, firing the actor from House of Cards and cancelling the release of his feature film Gore.
But the network remained mum over Masterson. That inaction blew up yesterday, when Huffington Post’s Yashar Ali published an account of a Netflix executive explaining, of Masterson’s accusers, “We don’t believe them.” He was unaware that the woman he was speaking to was one of said accusers.
Netflix acknowledged the conversation in a statement: “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.” So, apparently, that’s what it took.
And Masterson has responded with a statement of his own: “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. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit. 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 LAPD re-opened its investigation nearly a year ago, and it was turned over to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in April. According to the Huffington Post, sources inside both agencies have described the evidence as “compelling” and “overwhelming.”