The Ranch star Danny Masterson has been fired by Netflix following sexual assault allegations levelled at the actor.
Masterson – who played Steven Hyde in That ’70s Show as well as Rooster in Ashton Kutcher-led Netflix comedy The Ranch – faces allegations of rape from four women, with all the alleged incidents said to have taken place in the early 2000s.
Back in March, it was reported that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was looking into claims of historic sexual assault against Masterson.
Then, last month (November), The Huffington Post reported that the investigation against Masterson had “inexplicably stalled, despite the Los Angeles County district attorney having compelling evidence in the case”.
Masterson has denied the sexual assault claims. The actor is a Scientologist and his representative recently said that the “false allegations appear to be motivated to boost Leah Remini’s anti-Scientology television series”. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath recently aired on US cable network A&E.
Masterson has now been fired by Netflix, with a statement confirming: “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 in early 2018 without him.”
Deadline reports that Masterson will still appear in several episodes of The Ranch that were filmed before his firing.
Responding to the news, Masterson says he is “very disappointed” and looks “forward to clearing my name once and for all”.
“From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me,” the actor said in a statement. “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.”