Danny Masterson has been fired by Netflix from his Ashton Kutcher series “The Ranch” after facing multiple rape allegations.
Masterson released a statement Tuesday addressing his removal from the series, and the allegations against him.
“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,” Masterson told ET Canada. “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.”
The statement continued: “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.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Masterson will still appear in the second half of season 2, premiering Dec. 15, but will be written out of the show’s third season, in which he still may make the odd appearance.
“As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of ‘The Ranch’. [Monday] was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him,” Netflix said in a statement.
Masterson has been under investigation by the LAPD since March after allegations were made of sexual assault and a possible cover-up by the Church of Scientology, to which the actor belongs.
The allegations, made by a 16-year-old, came to light through Leah Remini, after she contacted the alleged victim for her documentary series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath”.
Since then, three more women have alleged Masterson assaulted them.
By Monday, a petition for Netflix to cancel “The Ranch” due to the allegations had been signed by more than 38,000 people.
The same day, The Huffington Post reported that one of Masterson’s accusers said a Netflix executive told her that he did not believe the allegations made by the women.
Netflix also recently fired Kevin Spacey from its series “House of Cards” after he was accused of sexual assault by a number of men.