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Netflix Finally Fires Danny Masterson from 'The Ranch' After Rape Allegations
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6 Dec 2017 06:59 PM EST

-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Danny Masterson (Image Source: Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV via Wikimedia Commons)

Netflix appears to have finally heaved under the pressure and ended Danny Masterson's time on the series The Ranch after months of renewed rape allegations.

The actor made a name for himself starring as Hyde in That '70s Show from 1998 through 2006. He's also appeared in a number of films, guest-starred on numerous series, and starred in the series Men at Work.

Since 2016, Masterson has starred in The Ranch on Netflix in the role of Jameson "Rooster" Bennett, the older brother of Colt, portrayed by Ashton Kutcher, his old pal from That '70s Show. Debra Winger and Sam Elliott star as well. Both Masterson and Kutcher are listed as executive producers. The second half of the second season is due to be released on December 15.

The 41-year-old Scientologist was first accused of rape 16 years ago and has since been accused at least two more times. All of his accusers are Scientologists who say they were threatened by the Church to not say anything.

The charges resurfaced last March thanks to the series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath when one of the accusers told Remini her story.

Former Village Voice editor Tony Ortega then wrote about the accusations on his site "The Underground Bunker" and wrote that Masterson was being investigated by the L.A.P.D.

With the recent deluge of sexual misconduct accusations, these old charges were brought up again last month. The Huffington Post reported that there were four accusers, and The Daily Beast spoke with one accuser, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, who went public after HuffPost reported that Netflix wasn't planning on releasing Masterson from his contract.

"For me, what Netflix has done feels like a continuation of how the Church of Scientology made me feel when I reported my rape to them, as well as how Danny Masterson made me feel when I would beg him for an apology, an explanation, anything," said Bixler in HuffPost. "I was made to feel unimportant."

The Church of Scientology "adamantly" denied to The Daily Beast that Bixler made criminal allegations against Masterson when she discussed her relationship with him.

They have now denied it again.

"The Church adamantly denies the implication the Church would ignore the criminal behavior of certain members, especially at the expense of alleged victims," they said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday. "What is being stated is utterly untrue. This has nothing to do with religion. This story is being manipulated to push a bigoted agenda. The Church follows all laws and cooperates with law enforcement. Any statement or implication to the contrary is false."

However, Netflix has now fired Masterson to match with how these sexual misconduct allegations are being treated in Hollywood.

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

Masterson replied in a statement that he is "obviously very disappointed in Netflix's decision to write my character off of The Ranch."

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