LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor Danny Masterson has been written out of the Netflix comedy series “The Ranch”, the streaming company said on Tuesday.
Netflix did not give a reason for Masterson’s exit but Los Angeles police said in March that the actor, best known from “That 70s Show,” was being investigated for alleged sexual assault of three women in the early 2000s.
“As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of ‘The Ranch,’” Netflix said in an emailed statement. “Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him.”
Netflix did not elaborate.
Reuters could not independently confirm the allegations and the Los Angeles Police Department had no further information on Tuesday.
Masterson, 41, again denied the accusations and said on Tuesday he looked forward to clearing his name.
“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,” Masterson said in an emailed 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 climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”
Masterson lost his job as several other U.S. entertainment or media personalities have recently been fired over sexual misconduct allegations.
Netflix confirmed on Monday that its flagship drama series “House of Cards” would resume production in 2018 without star Kevin Spacey following multiple allegations against him.. Spacey has apologized to one of his accusers, actor Anthony Rapp, and according to his representatives is seeking unspecified treatment.
Masterson started his career as a child model and actor and got his break-out role in the 1998-2006 Fox television comedy series “That 70s Show,” in which he played rebel adolescent Steven Hyde.
In “The Ranch,” which premiered in 2016, Masterson plays the older brother of his “That 70s Show” co-star Ashton Kutcher in a comedy about a dysfunctional family living in Colorado.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Alden Bentley