Netflix has allowed accused rapist Danny Masterson to gracefully exit ‘The Ranch’

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Well, well. Netflix executives might be reading the blogs after all. This morning, we discussed that absolutely awful story of a Netflix executive telling a rape victim that he and the other executives didn’t believe Danny Masterson’s four rape accusers and that’s why Netflix hasn’t fired him. Netflix actually offered a public statement about that report, and their statement was utter f–king garbage. I thought the Masterson story was being ignored by most blogs and trade papers, and I thought most people just weren’t paying attention in general. But people were paying attention, and Netflix finally realized they had to do something about Masterson. That something involves allowing Danny Masterson to say that he’s leaving his Netflix show instead of Netflix suspending him or firing him outright.

Danny Masterson has left production of Netflix comedy “The Ranch.”

“As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of ‘The Ranch,’” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. “Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him.”

Masterson’s departure comes amid mounting pressure over claims by four women who have accused the actor of rape. The Los Angeles County District Attorney and Los Angeles Police Department are currently investigating allegations against Masterson.

Part four of “The Ranch” is set to premiere on Netflix as scheduled Dec. 15, with additional episodes slated to premiere some time in 2018. Netflix has traditionally divided the series into 10-episode batches, each of which is part of a longer season. It is unknown how many episodes from will debut this month and how many will be held until next year. Masterson is not expected to appear in any episodes released after Dec. 15. Also unresolved is the fate of Masterson’s executive producer credit on the series.

The decision to part ways with Masterson comes one day after Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos confirmed that original drama “House of Cards” would resume production in 2018 on a sixth and final season, this one set to star Robin Wright, but not her onscreen partner Kevin Spacey. Production of “House of Cards” season six was halted in October, following sexual-assault allegations against Spacey, who was later suspended from the production.

[From Variety]

I’ve never seen an episode of The Ranch in my life (and I’m not going to) so I have no idea if Masterson’s exit will create problems for the show. Tell me, watchers of The Ranch: would it have been better to just cancel the show altogether? I know for a fact that Netflix would have looked better, as a company, if they had proactively cut ties with Masterson instead of allowing him this “graceful” exit. Whatever. At least he doesn’t have a job now. That’s something.

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61 Responses to “Netflix has allowed accused rapist Danny Masterson to gracefully exit ‘The Ranch’”

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  1. LittlefishMom says:

    I didn’t even know he was on a show. He makes my skin crawl.

  2. gobo says:

    I don’t think they would have taken this move if it wasn’t for the Exec telling a woman at their kids soccer match that they didn’t believe it was rape, only for her to mention that she was victim B. It looked Very Bad on them.

  3. Ally says:

    Haha, “gracefully exit” as the door hits him on the way out.

    I wish Netflix had an option to remove certain items from view. I would certainly do that with this show. It would be a way to let viewers indicate their displeasure with some of the content featured.

    • Erinn says:

      My husband and I were flipping through Netflix the other night and he was like “HEY – the rapey $cientology guy isn’t in the promo photo”. And it took me a minute to realize – but he wasn’t. It was Ashton, the mother, Sam Elliot, and Elisha Cuthburt. I figured then that there was a move being made.

      It’s a shame for the other people employed on a show when it gets canceled because of horrible people – so at least it’s not a case of film crews, and assistants, and other actors losing a job because of him.

  4. rocky says:

    Its gonna be a problem for the show. I think just recasting his character would be the best idea.

  5. Nicole says:

    They should fire him totally. Is he still a producer on the show?
    Also this thread from Yashar Ali is excellent. Not only did that exec say that comment to the rape victim but HIS WIFE A DISNEY EXEC then emailed her afterwords. The wife is now in the process of deleting her tweets. What a mess I hope action is taken against them too

    https://twitter.com/yashar/status/937727660096212992

    • Tiffany says:

      Saw that, this is the problem. I hope that woman loses her job.

    • leskat says:

      I never thought I’d be the person writing “I’m sitting here crying as I write this…” but here I am trying not to cry and alarm my office mates because, guys, I just can’t take this fucking garbage fire of everyday a new accusation, every day my heart shatters for a new woman, every day the woman is not believed. I read through the Twitter thread above and the Huff Po article where the Disney exec claims her Netflix husband’s remarks at the kids’ soccer game they were all at are some sort of smear campaign and he has daughters (!!!) so we all know it would be impossible for someone with a daughter to be against women, amirite? Please believe women. It happens, it’s happened to all of us women in some form. I think I gotta take a break from these blogs because my heart is already broken for my daughters and hoping they’ll never know the pain and indignity of being assaulted.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/danny-masterson-netflix-executive-rape-allegations_us_5a24b480e4b03c44072e6b97

    • Sadezilla says:

      I’m glad she sent that nasty email from her work account. I hope she gets fired for it as well. Notice it was all about the damage done to HER family, not the damage to the rape victim and her family. What a jerk that woman is. The Netflix exec is a big boy and is responsible for the words that drop out of his mouth hole, but no, the victim RUINED HIS LIFE OMG THE NASTY FEMINISTS!!!!!1 It drives me nuts when people refuse to act like adults and claim responsibility for their actions.

      • leskat says:

        And what would it have cost the Netflix guy to say “I don’t know where Netflix as a company stands on firing Masterson goes and I’m not an official spokesperson for them, but I believe the women coming forward.” THE END.
        His wife acts like he was ensnared into being an insensitive asshole by this trickster of a woman when he really just showed his true colors. He better pray that the men around his daughters are fucking nothing like him.

      • Nicole says:

        Exactly. And Leskat its because men are so used to not facing consequences for their sh*t opinions that they let them fly. We just arent letting them skate anymore.
        The wife needs to be fired. What an idiot sending it from her disney account. Disney does NOT need anymore backlash after their attempt at censorship of LA times

    • Bridget says:

      That email. I have so many words about it that I can’t even put them all down.

      And then Masterson’s statement? Rage inducing.

    • Crystal says:

      We need to throw a fuss with disney. Unacceptable usage of a professional account and this now is forever linked as a statement for disney. Disgusting, they should be ashamed to not be reacting to this email.

  6. Amanda says:

    I didn’t even know that trash show was still on… they should have just cancelled it bc it sucks before this even happened. Now they definitely should.

  7. Clare says:

    Too little, too late, assholes.

  8. ariel says:

    Netflix seems to essentially still be saying:
    We don’t believe those bitches, and hate to put upon poor victim Danny Masterson, but since Yeatman fucked up and said how we honestly feel, we have to do *something*, but be sure to make it as clear as possible that we love Masterson and don’t believe those women, and frankly if he did rape them, it wasn’t a big deal. We don’t know those women, they don’t matter.

    Or am I reading their position incorrectly?

  9. Sam says:

    I’m seriously considering cancelling Netflix. I have a hard time justifying paying for a subscription when they say/do such things that are reprehensible. If I’m willing to write off people, I should write off Netflix.

  10. Kelaine says:

    I’ve been watching it. The first season was like watching a play – it was artistic and dramatic and the interaction of the actors felt spontaneous and real. In later episodes it became more like watching a sitcom with dramatic twists and cliffhangers and more jokes. Still pretty good. There are great actors in it playing complex characters. The chemistry between Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson was one of the best parts. They really seemed like brothers and were very funny. The Danny Masterson character was often crass and sexually inappropriate which is just cringe now.. I think it would have been better to cancel it, but I will still watch to see what happens. In my opinion it was quality work.

  11. Miss Gloss says:

    This show is terrible. I don’t even understand how it has a single viewer. It’s that cheesy acting, canned laughter bs. It reminds me of every Chuck Lorre show ever made. Just brutal. Why anyone would want an Executive Producer credit on that piece of hammered dog shit is also beyond me.

  12. Paris says:

    Scientologist is allowed gracefully exit the show.

    I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

  13. Mina says:

    I get it, and I agree that a guy accused of four rapes has to be out (and put in jail!). But Netflix (or other companies) don’t have the luxury we have to just ignore due process and the legal right of being innocent until proven guilty and they have to measure their steps carefully and investigate the situation. With Spacey it was clear cut because he had been harassing people in the very set of their show, while Masterson’s accusers weren’t involved with Netflix. So I’m not surprised they took their time and I’m glad they made the right decision in the end. As for the executives not believing… well, if that’s true, shame on them.

    I think their “writing Masterson out” of The Ranch is more a deference to Ashton Kutcher (who produces the show and is a close friend of Masterson) than to Masterson himself.

    • lunchcoma says:

      Due process and the presumption of innocence are standards for criminal cases. Netflix isn’t a court. The standard that applies to Masterson is governed by his employment contract. In most cases, that means that Netflix can fire him whenever they want, and may or may not have to pay him for the work he hasn’t already done.

      Aside from that, I don’t have a problem with employers conducting some sort of investigation rather than firing a minute after an accusation, but I don’t believe for a second that’s what happened here. Netflix took no action against him when his story was secondary to several others in media coverage and fired him the day after a development in it that got a higher level of attention. I expect more of companies that I pay to entertain me.

      • Mina says:

        They are not a court, but they can be sued for wrongful termination. That’s why they have to figure out a way to fire him that’s not because of allegations that haven’t been proved in court.

        I do agree with you that that’s probably not the main reason why they took so long to fire him. I think that Danny Masterson is such a C list actor that they didn’t realize it would cause so many waves. Hopefully they learned their lesson.

      • Bridget says:

        Entertainment is an at-will employment business. Almost anyone can be let go and written out, as long as it is not for reasons that are specifically protected by law (ie you can’t fire someone for being pregnant, or for racially motivated reasons). Most even have morals clauses of some sort.

      • Mina says:

        It’s not really that simple, Bridget. And Masterson is not just an actor on the show, but a producer and the one who (along with Kutcher) went to Netflix with it. Just think for a moment. Who cares about Danny Masterson? He’s not a beloved actor, he’s not incredibly talented, he doesn’t really bring any prestige to Netflix, like Kevin Spacey did. I don’t even know why The Ranch is still going, to be honest, but when it comes to just Masterson, there has to be some legal reason why they didn’t just fire him right away.

      • Bridget says:

        “We just don’t believe them” says exactly why they don’t.

        And yes, it really is that simple, unless the person writing the contract is an utter idiot (a lat whomever didn’t put a morals clause into Charlie Sheen’s contract). Actors are fired from shows ALL THE TIME. They’re constantly written out, and yet when we see wrongful termination lawsuits, it’s generally because it’s a breach of a specific term of a contract (like in Sheen’s case) or because the person fired is a member of a protected class (for example, when Hunter Tylo was fired from Melrose Place for being pregnant). The reality is that the most likely reasons why Danny Masterson wasn’t removed was because 1) Netflix doesn’t believe his accusers, 2) as evidenced by Kevin Spacey, they have zero problem covering sexual crimes perpetrated by their stars until they’re caught doing it, and 3) because CO$ is most likely engaging in an aggressive campaign to keep him on the show.

        People in Hollywood are fired ALL THE TIME. They’re recast, they’re written off, the entire show is cancelled. It’s a business that relies on ratings, perception, and chemistry. And outside of union/tenured/specific contract jobs in the real world, you can fire people for almost any reason you want, UNLESS it’s a protected class. You could decide you don’t like the way someone dresses, and be within your right to fire them.

    • Sam says:

      This wasn’t about due process, though. They straight up said they didn’t believe the women. If they had any tact or common sense they would have hidden behind the “innocent until proven guilty” thing and had saved some semblance of integrity. They did not. They admitted nothing was happening to him because the women were liars, and then had the balls to say, “well she didn’t tell him she was an actual VICTIM, she hid that.” So no, they aren’t like us in that they have dozens of lawyers who should have told them how to properly, tastefully, cover your butt when you’re an a-hole and they did not take that advice. I’m glad, because now I know and can do something about it. (Unsubscribe)

      • Mina says:

        They didn’t say that. Some executive said that in a non professional context. While I don’t think he was lying, I don’t think he necessarily represented Netflix’s position, but what he’d heard from some executives in hallway conversations. Netflix replied to that outrage quickly and in the way they had to. Look, I understand that for us is easy to believe victims, but some people want to have proof before they ruin someone’s life, and that’s ok and the responsible thing to do. In this case, it doesn’t matter what Netflix executives might think in their private lives, what’s important is what they do publicly, and they fired him.

      • Bridget says:

        They only wrote him out when directly confronted. People have been asking about Masterson for weeks. The evidence is significant, as well as evidence that the LAPD is tanking the case.

        And if you are an executive and are asked something about the views of your workplace on a high profile subject, it doesn’t matter if you are on your personal time. The answer he gave would be egregiously bad even if he had not been speaking to one of the victims. “We don’t believe them” is pretty much the only wrong answer you could give when FOUR women accuse the star of one of your shows of rape.

  14. lunchcoma says:

    I sighed and cancelled my Netflix yesterday. They have been coddling far too many abusers, and I’m not very mollified by their firing them when the protests get loud enough and letting them coast along when there are outstanding allegations that aren’t currently getting tabloid coverage.

    I’m sure I’ll reup at some point in the summer, but taking a break from TV will do me good, especially as I watch very little anyway.

  15. winosaurusres says:

    My husband watches it therefor I’ve seen a couple episodes.

    Hubby was upset at the allegations, but said just looking at Masterson it didn’t really surprise him. It will be interesting to see how it affects the show because he is a big part of it.

  16. Chaine says:

    The fact that it was a Kutcher-Masterson show was enough for me to have no interest in watching it. I hope whomever Netflix’s investors are, they can all of the execs and start over with a fresh slate.

  17. QueenB says:

    Also a big finger to Scientology. They dont have many celebs left.

  18. Tiffany says:

    I know of at least 20 people who cancelled their accounts yesterday after the Netflix exec story hit, so no telling how many more people out there cancelled as well.

    They just sent out another email of a price increase. These fools did not have a choice.

  19. Myhairisfullofsecrets says:

    Netflix just fired him from the show and he will be written off soon. He released a statement about being innocent until proven guilty blah, blah, blah…..stfu.

  20. dumbledork says:

    The stories about the assaults have been out there in the open for a very long time, as were the stories about Spacey. Both men still got hired. This move by Netflix has nothing to do with their concern for the women or the men, but all their concern about their bottom line. While I don’t necessarily understand the woman approaching the Netflix exec during a kids soccer game, I will bet my life that she felt she had no other options, and was at her wits end about how her whole ordeal had been handled by the police and Netflix management, and add Kutcher and all the others who hired this guy as well. I hope she and the other victims feel some solace that this sicko is without a job. hopefully it’s followed by jail.

  21. tealily says:

    Between those comments that I read yesterday, the email I received yesterday informing me of their rate hikes, and the lack of content on Netflix, I was ready to close my account last night. This makes it slightly better. I guess I’ll hang in a little longer, but I’m pretty ready to go at this point. Let me just finish Stranger Things first.

  22. Jordan says:

    I’ve never seen it but good riddance. Comedy Central and another channel still play marathons of That 70s Show. Haven’t and won’t ever watch again.

  23. Jussie says:

    The show is trash. It’s totally the kind of low effort sitcom where you could easily just recast or send off a character. That they didn’t do that months ago suggests either collusion with Scientology or fear of Scientology.

  24. Bridget says:

    Danny Masterson’s statement is rage inducing and he may very well be eating those words, because if charges are brought he’s going to have that very opportunity to be found innocent or guilty that he laments.

    • Coolio says:

      It just occurred to me. The swift action after the Spacey reveal from one male accuser and this late $hit graceful exit after 4 women?!?!? They believed the man straight away but not 4 woman. Disgusting. #cancelnetflix

      Ladies we need to use our power how the situation fits. In this case it’s our wallet. Let us be heard!!!!

      • Bridget says:

        Well, it is easier to believe the accusers when you’re one of the entities working to cover up the allegations because it’s happening in your workplace. So you know, they had firsthand knowledge that it was true.

      • Mina says:

        The swift action was because 8 people in the House of Cards set accused Spacey. It was happening in their own ground so they had to. Same with all the studios and networks that have fired people so quickly, it’s because they already had the background to know the accusations were true, and they could be liable for it.

  25. TheOtherViv says:

    Call me crazy but I actually feel for all of these people involved in that soccer spat. Victim B was watching her daughters’ soccer game but she bravely decided to ask questions when she found out there was someone from Netflix. So that Netflix exec was a a bit of a dick but not actually involved in decision making or a spokesperson and thought he was in a private setting coaching his daughters. Realizing he was a dick and had said something entirely insensitive he went back to victim B and tried to let her know that he wasn’t a decision-maker. Dumb? Yes. Criminal- no. Saying “we’ll see” – still insensitive. But did we expect him to see the light and resign? Netflix likely then told him that he got them into major trouble and that he was a liability. The Disney wife panicked, saw him lose his job and acted just as dumb as he did because she saw her family life destroyed about something she considered a private conversation or even ambush. She didn’t think about her own victim-blaming or lack of feminism or anything. She didn’t think, period. She got scared and was a real bitch about it.
    They all learned the hard way that you can’t defend your private life while showing off your professional status in the age of the internet. The soccer game maybe wasn’t the right place and the right time to address this but hey, if you want to be an executive then unfortunately you are an executive everywhere you go, even at the supermarket check-out. I hope the victims get a fair trial with no more messy encounters, they deserve our compassion.

    • Bridget says:

      What I found so repellant about his (and his wife’s) statements had nothing to do with an expectation that he lead the charge to fire Masterson. It was how he so cavalierly shot down the possibility that Masterson was guilty. “We don’t believe them”. He felt comfortable saying that to a complete stranger. Four women spoke up, with significant evidence behind them, and yet “we don’t believe them”. And then his wife and her email trying to paint him as a hard working father just trying to raise his daughters right? Attitudes like his directly contribute to the environment that protects and supports harassers. He gets no pass from me.

      • TheOtherViv says:

        So so true. Like a dumb parrot he repeated the Netflix stance and thought nothing of it. Then he realized those victims are actually people. People he might know. What a shocker. Always interesting to see what it does to people when they realize “it could happen to them”. We are surrounded by ignorance.
        These victims will have a hard time because of their relationship status with Masterson and it’s not fair at all.

  26. Kath says:

    If you read the details of what Danny Masterson did, he’s just about the worst of the lot. He is a violent sociopath who seems to get off on damaging and abusing women. He needs to be in jail.

  27. Luci Lu says:

    Danny was creepy when he was on ‘That 70′s Show’. The young cast members looked like teen-teen-agers…he didn’t. He looked like a grown-ass man, and he always seemed to be lurking in the background. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are more victims that are too afraid to speak up.

  28. Frau says:

    I have loved That 70s Show forever, even went to a taping. I can’t watch it in reruns even, it’s like there’s a bobbling sign saying “rapist” pointing directly at Masterson’s head. I hope he gets a long jail sentence. Doubtful but I hope so…..

  29. Flaming Oh says:

    So much respect to that lady for blowing the whistle on the Netflix exec’s comments.
    I hope she finds some solace in DM’s career being toast.