Masterson played Jameson "Rooster" Bennett on the Netflix original series. He was a beloved character in the show, but in December, he lost the job. At least some of The Ranch's die-hard fans want to see him back on screen when the show returns.
Masterson was the subject of four accusations of sexual assault, levied against him by ex-girlfriends and women who had attended parties at his house. Masterson vehemently denied these allegations, which were all said to have taken place in the early 2000s. At the time, an investigation by the LAPD turned up nothing, but in the wake of the Me Too movement, the department re-opened the investigation into Masterson.
Meanwhile, Netflix dropped the actor from their show after pressure from fans, activists and accusers. The company announced his termination in a statement made on Twitter.
"As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch," it read. "Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him."
Outraged fans have been fighting the decision ever since, mainly through petitions on Change.org. As the new season approaches, anger has bubbled back up, and old petitions have gained an influx of interest while new ones have cropped up as well.
"[Fifteen] years ago these allegations were investigated by police," reads one written by a fan. "No charges were ever brought against Danny however Netflix has brought it upon themselves to start this witch hunt against him, and ruining what could’ve been a long run for The Ranch. Let’s show them we believe in innocent until proven guilty!"
That petition has 1,845 out of the 2,500 signatures it hopes for at the time of this writing.
"Danny Masterson has been let go from The Ranch for allegations from 15 years ago. How in that amount of time can you not have enough evidence to charge him?" reads another, with 1,538 out of 2,500 signatures.
Curiously, other petitions exist right alongside these, calling for Netflix to cancel the show altogether.4comments
"Cancel The Ranch, or I’ll cancel my Netflix subscription," it read. "I can live without Stranger Things. I cannot live without my rights as an equal member of society."
Netflix has not responded to any of these petitions, many of which have met their signing goals and been sent off to the company. Masterson is still set to appear in the first 10 episodes of the new season, which premiers on June 15.