Actor Danny Masterson has been fired from the Emmy- winning scripted comedy “The Ranch” amid sexual assault accusations involving several women dating back to the early 2000s, Netflix announced Tuesday.
“As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of `The Ranch,”‘ according to a Netflix statement. “Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him.”
Masterson, however, will still appear in the second half of season two, scheduled for Dec. 15, in episodes already filmed.
The 41-year-old actor responded to his dismissal by issuing a statement saying he was “very disappointed” and asserting that in the current climate, “it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”
“From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me,” he said.”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.”
Masterson said he looks forward to “clearing my name once and for all.”
As of Monday, a petition calling for Netflix to cancel “The Ranch” had earned the backing of more than 38,000 people, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Masterson, who previously co-starred on “That ’70s Show,” had been part of “The Ranch” since it began in 2016. The Netflix series stars Masterson’s former ’70s Show cohort Ashton Kutcher, who also is credited as a producer of the sitcom about a former semi-pro football player who returns to run his family’s Colorado ranch after his playing days end