While Netflix is currently dealing with revamping one of its marquee dramas in the wake of Kevin Spacey's sexual assault scandal, the streaming service has announced a similar move has been made with the star-studded comedy The Ranch. Actor Danny Masterson, who was long ago accused of rape by four different women, has been fired from The Ranch, and it's confirmed that his role of "Rooster" Bennett will be written out of the storyline.
The Ranch Season 3 has been in production for a while now, reportedly with only one episode left to film for the first half of the season, and there are no plans to excise Danny Masterson's performances from what's already been filmed. According to Deadline, the back half of Season 2 (that's premiering soon) will also go unedited as far as Masterson's role is concerned. Production on the second half of Season 3 is set to kick off in 2018 at some point, and it's there when the show will fully move forward without the actor's presence.
Netflix and The Ranch's producers released Danny Masterson this week as tensions were rising surrounding not just his own rape accusations, but all of the sexual assault talk happening in Hollywood recently. It was all the way back in 2004, when Masterson was still starring on That 70s Show, that his first accuser came forward and claimed he'd raped her in 2003. Though the case went nowhere at the time, new attention was brought to it earlier this year after three more women claiming they were also assaulted by the actor in the early 2000s. An investigation was opened up by the LAPD back in March, but progress has seemingly stalled on the case.
As such, both Netflix's silence about the issue and the LAPD's stalemate have come under fire. Many have wondered why Netflix was so quick to end its professional relationship with Kevin Spacey under those circumstances, but hadn't taken any action when it came to Danny Masteron's work on The Ranch. Perhaps similarly, Masterson's involvement with the Church of Scientology has been rumored to be part of the reason why he's remained out of trouble before now, but that's all unsubstantiated.
Part of the reason why The Ranch has been such a fan favorite is because it reconnected That 70s Show stars Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, along with recurring star Wilmer Valderrama, for another multi-camera sitcom that features a permanently surly father. But now, that level of enjoyment is over, and it'll be interesting to see how the show moves forward in Season 3 without Rooster around.
The first half of The Ranch Season 2 is currently available to stream on Netflix, while the back half will make its premiere on Friday, December 15, at 12:01 a.m. PT. To see what else is coming in the near future, head to our Netflix schedule, and then jump over to our fall TV premiere schedule and our 2018 midseason premiere schedule.