Netflix has fired a lead actor from The Ranch after multiple Danny Masterson rape allegations have come to light. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, three women have accused Masterson of raping them in the early 2000s. Calls for the actor’s termination had been flying around though it was likely yesterday’s Netflix executive controversy that finally got Danny Masterson fired.
Yesterday, the Huffington Post ran an article about a woman who confronted Netflix Director of Global Children’s Content Andy Yeatman at a soccer game over the Danny Masterson rape claims. According to the woman, Yeatman said they hadn’t acted on the claims because “We don’t believe them.” The woman then informed Yeatman she was one of Masterson’s accusers, referred to as Victim B.
Victim B filed her report in 2004, but according to anti-Scientology reporter Tony Ortega, a number of Scientologists filed affidavits with the LAPD claiming Victim B was lying. Masterson is a well-known member of the Church of Scientology.
The claims against Masterson picked up steam when former Scientologist Leah Remini said an episode of her show Scientology and the Aftermath was about the claims. The episode has not aired; Remini and A&E agreed to pull the episode after the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office stated concerns it could jeopardize the investigation. However, according to the Huffington Post, the Danny Masterson rape investigation has stalled.
One of Masterson’s accusers is actress and model Chrissie Bixler, the wife of Cedric Bixler-Zavala of the band At The Drive-In. Bixler-Zavala has said his song “Incurably Innocent” is about sexual abuse, and implied it was about Masterson. The song has a reference to Franklin Avenue, the location of Scientology’s Celebrity Center in Los Angeles.
In a statement to People magazine, Masterson says he’s “disappointed” and denies the claims:
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. In the meantime, I want to express my gratitude to the cast and crew that I’ve worked so closely with over the past three seasons. I wish them nothing but success. I am also so thankful to the fans that have supported me and continue to do so.
This makes Masterson the second high-profile Netflix firing over sexual assault claims. Last month Kevin Spacey was fired off House of Cards. The sixth and final series will star Robin Wright.
Masterson will still appear in the second half of The Ranch Season 2, which comes out Dec. 15.