Netflix has parted ways with actor Danny Masterson. Masterson will no longer be a part of the production of Netflix’s scripted comedy The Ranch.
Netflix stated, “As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch. Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume early in 2018 without him.”
Masterson will still appear in the second half of season two, which is set to premiere on Dec. 15. The actor is not expected to appear in any episodes released after Dec. 15.
Masterson has been under investigation by the LAPD since earlier this year of sexual assault claims that included a cover-up by the Church of Scientology. These claims came from three women at the time. Chrissie Carnell Bixler, wife of At The Drive-In lead singer Cedric Bixler Zavala, has also claimed recently in November that she is one of the alleged rape victims of Masterson.
Masterson has denied the sexual allegations on Tuesday and expressed his “disappointment” in the decision.
“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,” Masterson said in a statement. “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.”
The Ranch is a multi-camera comedy, which is produced in-house at Netflix. The comedy series follows a failed semi-pro football player Colt Bennett (Ashton Kutcher) who returns home to Colorado to help run the family ranching business with his father Beau Bennett (Sam Elliott) and his brother Jameson “Rooster” Bennett (Masterson). Kutcher serves as showrunner alongside Two and a Half Men alums Don Reo and Jim Patterson. Masterson also served as executive producer of the comedy, which marked a That 70’s Show reunion for Kutcher and Masterson. With Netflix’s termination of Masterson, the streaming giant has not addressed the status of Masterson’s credit as executive producer.
Netflix’s decision to part ways with Masterson comes one day after Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos confirmed that House of Cards will resume production of its final sixth season in early 2018.