Shortly after Netflix announced that Danny Masterson has been fired from its original series The Ranch following multiple sexual assault allegations, the actor is expressing his dismay and maintaining his innocence.
“I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of The Ranch,” the 41-year-old actor told the Huffington Post. “From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. 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 political 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.”
Netflix announced early Tuesday morning that “as a result of ongoing discussions” the company decided to write Masterson’s character off the show. “[Monday] was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him.”
Masterson faces accusations of rape from four women; the Los Angeles County District Attorney and Los Angeles Police Department continue to investigate the claims.
It was alleged Monday that a Netflix executive claimed that Netflix “doesn’t believe” the women.
Masterson will still appear in the second half of season two of The Ranch, due out on Netflix on Dec. 15, and could return for parts of the previously announced third season as the streaming giant writes him out of the Ashton Kutcher comedy. It's unclear if another actor will be brought in to make up for the void.
Public outrage against Masteron's continued role on the series gained momentum in recent weeks. As of Monday, a petition calling for Netflix to cancel The Ranch had earned support from more than 38,000 people.
Many thought Masterson should have been fired from the show immediately following the claims against him, similar to how Netflix cut ties with Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. after the news hit about their own sexual misconduct scandals.
One of Masterson's accusers, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, spoke out against Netflix last month.
“I was sick when I read Netflix’s statement on continuing with The Ranch and continuing their working relationship with a man who has violently raped and abused so many women,” Bixler told the The Daily Beast. “Four months after the story broke and the LAPD confirmed a criminal investigation, Netflix ordered another season of The Ranch.”
Bixler, like Masterson, is a member of the Church of Scientology, and the alleged victim claims the Church warned her and other women to keep quiet about their accusations against the actor.
Leah Remini, who was a Scientologist for over 30 years and is now one of the organization's most outspoken opponents, called out LAPD's handling of the allegations against Masterson last month, claiming that the church and the police are too close to be trusted.
“Scientology is very slick in that it’s partnered in this Police Activities League with the Hollywood division," Remini told The Daily Beast. “What it’s done is it’s aligned itself as per its policies, because there are Scientology policies that say, ‘Safe-point yourself to the area police department because then nobody will attack your good works,’ so it’s all very pointed and calculated.”
Photo Credit: Netflix