AceShowbiz - Netflix has opted to write out Danny Masterson from its comedy show "The Ranch". The decision arrives after the actor is involved in rape scandals as multiple women have claimed that Masterson raped him years ago.
"As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of 'The Ranch'," the streaming giant said in a statement on Tuesday, December 5. "Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him."
The firing of Masterson, who stars alongside fellow "The '70s Show" alum Ashton Kutcher, arrives in the middle season 3 production. Masterson's character, Jameson "Rooster" Bennett, is said to continue appearing through the second half of the multi-cam series' season 2, which is set to premiere on December 15. The character will also pop out in an unknown number of episodes of season 3, a source tells TVLine.
In response to him being ousted from the series, Masterson issued an official statement via his attorney. "I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix's decision to write my character off of 'The Ranch'," the actor said.
Masterson also denied "the outrageous allegations" against him, saying that the encounters in question were consensual. "From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one," he explained.
The actor went on saying, "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."
Back in March, several women reported the "Yes Man" actor for sexual assaults which stemmed from the early 2000s, leading Masterson to be investigated by Los Angeles Police Department. "The Los Angeles Police Department Robbery Homicide Division, Sexual Assault Section, is conducting an investigation involving the actor Danny Masterson. Three women have come forward and disclosed that they were sexually assaulted by Masterson during the early 2000's," LAPD's statement read.
It turned out that the allegations have a connection with the church of Scientology, of which Masterson is a member. The actor's rep, Jenni Weinman Voake, noted that one of the women was in contact with Leah Remini, who is known for going against the community, before making the allegations. "We are aware of [name redacted]'s 16-year-old allegations. It was only after [redacted] was in contact with Leah Remini that she made allegations of sexual assault by Mr. Masterson. The alleged incident occurred in the middle of their 6-year relationship, after which she continued to be his longtime girlfriend," said Voake in a statement.
One woman accused Masterson of anally raping her, while another woman alleged that he raped her while she was being unconscious, and when she awoke, Masterson choked her until she passed out again. In a report by Tony Ortega published in March, three of the four women claimed that the Church pressured them to keep quiet.
A rep for the Church of Scientology recently denied the claims. The rep told TMZ, "The Church adamantly denies that it ever ignores any allegations of criminal behavior, especially at the expense of alleged victims. What is being stated is utterly untrue. This has nothing to do with religion. This story is being manipulated to push a bigoted agenda. The Church follows all laws and cooperates with law enforcement. Any statement or implication to the contrary is false."