Danny Masterson fired from The Ranch amid allegations
According to The Hollywood Reporter, allegations against The Ranch star Danny Masterson have led Netflix to have Masterson fired from the show. He will still appear in The Ranch Part 4 (the second half of Season 2) when it drops on the streaming service on December 15, and has already filmed the first part of Season 3, although it is unknown if his scenes will be dropped or reshot with a replacement actor/character before those episodes bow in early 2018. His last day on set was yesterday.
After discussing with the producers, we’ve decided to write Danny Masterson off of The Ranch. Yesterday was his last day of work, and we’ll make new episodes in 2018 without him.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 5, 2017
The allegations against Masterson come from four women who claim the actor raped them and the incidents were covered up after being reported in the early 2000s to The Church of Scientology, of which the That ’70s Show star is a member. The LAPD is currently investigating the assault claims, for which there is reportedly significant evidence. Masterson is reportedly represented by power attorneys Thomas Mesereau and Marty Singer, who are also representing Bill Cosby and Brett Ratner, respectively, amid their own sexual assault cases.
Masterson issued the following statement:
“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.”
Despite the case having been ongoing since March of this year, Netflix only fired Masterson yesterday amid controversy over a report in The Huffington Post in which Netflix exec Andy Yeatman was approached at a soccer game by a fellow player’s mother and asked why the streaming giant had fired Kevin Spacey from House of Cards but not Masterson from The Ranch. “We don’t believe them,” Yeatman reportedly said of the women who have accused Masterson, unaware that the soccer mom was one of the actor’s accusers.
Set in the present day on a Colorado ranch, The Ranch stars Ashton Kutcher as Colt, a failed semi-pro football player who returns home to run the family ranching business with his older brother Jameson “Rooster” (Danny Masterson) and father Beau (Sam Elliott), whom he hasn’t seen in 15 years. Debra Winger stars as Colt’s and Rooster’s mother, Maggie, who runs the local town bar. The series also features Elisha Cuthbert as Abby, and fellow That ’70s Show alum Wilmer Valderrama as Umberto.
The Ranch Part 3 picks up where the series left off in winter of last year: Colt is forced to face the new reality of his complicated love triangle with Abby and Heather; Rooster settles into relationship life with Mary after moving out of the ranch; and Maggie and Beau navigate life as divorced friends. The Ranch Part 3 is written and executive produced by Jim Patterson and Don Reo (Two and a Half Men, Mike and Molly). Kutcher and Masterson also serve as executive producers on the series.