[Photos by: Mingle Media TV/Wikimedia Commons, Netflix]
Danny Masterson has been removed from production of Netflix show The Ranch after four women accused the actor of rape. One of the accusers, Chrissie Carnell-Bixler, is the wife of At The Drive In singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala.
“As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch,” reads a statement from the entertainment company, as reported by Variety. “Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him.”
Masterson's firing from the show doesn't immediately follow the reports of allegations, unlike the quick removal of Kevin Spacey from House Of Cards after that actor was accused of sexual misconduct. Earlier this week, a Netflix statement to the Huffington Post claimed that it was “aware of the allegations” against Masterson and would “respond if developments occur.”
Part four of the The Ranch is out Dec. 15, with additional episodes expected next year. While Masterson will presumably be featured in this month's episodes, he's not expected to appear in any future installments.
Masterson's exit from The Ranch comes after an apparent altercation this weekend between a Netflix executive, Andy Yeatman, and a women identified as one of Masterson's accusers, as covered by SPIN. Although the woman didn't immediately identify herself as one of the accusers, Yeatman reportedly told her that he didn't believe the accusations against Masterson. Netflix was quick to distance itself from the exec, saying, “Mr. Yeatman's comments were careless, uninformed and do not represent the views of the company.”
Variety reports that authorities are currently investigating the claims against Masterson. As noted by The A.V. Club, the allegations apparently began in the early 2000s when Masterson was first accused of sexually assaulting three women, prior to the fourth accuser coming forward.
“I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix's decision to write my character off of The Ranch,” Masterson says in a statement. “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.”
The Ranch was Netflix's first multi-camera comedy series, and it originally premiered on the streaming platform in April 2016. The show reunited Masterson with his fellow That '70s Show costar, Ashton Kutcher.
After discussing with the producers, we've decided to write Danny Masterson off of The Ranch. Yesterday was his last day of work, and we'll make new episodes in 2018 without him.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 5, 2017