Just hours after The Ranch star Danny Masterson was fired by Netflix, following multiple accusations of sexual assault, the actor has released a statement. The actor continues to deny the allegations against him, making it clear that he has not been charged with a crime, although there is an open investigation into the allegations by the Los Angeles Police Department. Here's the actor's statement in full below.
"I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix's decision to write my character off of The Ranch. From Day 1, 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."
In the aftermath of a myriad of sexual harassment and assault allegations that have surfaced over the past few months, one of Danny Masterson's accusers shamed Netflix in a social media blast. The accuser, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, called out the streaming service after Netflix acted rather quickly in responding to the troubling allegations that surfaced against House of Cards star Kevin Spacey. Yet they did nothing about Danny Masterson, who has been accused of sexual assault by four separate women in the early 2000s. More recently, though, this comes just days after a Netflix executive had an interaction with another one of Danny Masterson's accusers in public.
A Huffington Post report reveals that Andy Yeatman, Netflix's director of global kids content, was approached by one of Danny Masterson's accusers at a kids' soccer game, where her husband and Andy Yeatman were coaches on opposite sides of the game. The accuser approached Andy Yeatman and asked if he worked at Netflix, and then asked why they haven't taken any action against Danny Masterson after numerous sexual assault allegations surfaced, to which Yeatman responded, "we don't believe them," referring to the accusers, when she responded, "I'm one of them." Yeatman then approached her later to clear the air and said he didn't know she was one of his accusers, and when she stated that she and the other accusers are telling the truth, Yetman reportedly said, "we'll see." Here's what Netflix had to say in a statement about Andy Yeatman's actions that was issued yesterday, just one day before they fired Danny Masterson.
"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."
Danny Masterson's character Jameson "Rooster" Bennett will still be featured in the back half of Season 2, which debuts on December 15, with this firing coming in the midst of production for Season 3, with Rooster said to appear in an unspecified number of Season 3 episodes before being written out of the show. Production on the third season will resume in early 2018, without Danny Masterson. The actor becomes just the latest in a growing string of embattled actors who are being killed off their shows, including Kevin Spacey on House of Cards and Transparent's Jeffrey Tambor. TV Line broke the news on Danny Masterson's response earlier today. Early accounts pointed to higher ups in the organized religion Scientology helping to protect Danny Masterson. Three of his accusers have known ties to the church. Former believer Leah Remini claims that The Church of Scientology has a strategic alliance with law enforcement, and that they help divert scrutiny over matters like the multiple rape accusations made against church member Danny Masterson.