A Netflix executive is in trouble Monday after he told one of actor Danny Masterson’s alleged rape victims that he didn’t believe the former “That 70s Show” star’s accusers.
The streaming network has yet to take any action against Masterson, even as four women have now reported that Masterson sexually assaulted — and even raped — them in the early 2000s, and despite evidence that Netflix has known about the allegations since March, when reporter Tony Ortega revealed the LAPD had been investigating Masterson before the case mysteriously disappeared off the agency’s books.
The case was re-opened in April and has been referred to the LA County Prosecutor for possible charges.
Ortega and others believe that the Church of Scientology, which counts Masterson as a member, intervened, flooding the LAPD with positive “testimonials” from Scientologists, and pressuring the LAPD to drop the investigation before evidence connected Scientology with Masterson’s alleged crimes.
But at least one Netflix executive had a different take on the events. At a children’s soccer game over the weekend, Netflix’s Director of Global Kids Content, Andy Yeatman, struck up a conversation about Masterson with a fellow parent, a woman, on the sidelines, according to the Huffington Post.
The parent asked Yeatman why Neflix hadn’t yet taken action against Masterson, despite booting another alleged sexual abuser, Kevin Spacey, off the network. Yeatman allegedly told the woman that Netflix executives were taking the allegations against Masterson seriously but that “we don’t believe them,” referring to the accusers.
The woman then revealed that she was one of Masterson’s accusers: “I’m one of them,” HuffPo reports she told Yeatman.
The conversation ended there, but the victim says that Yeatman approached her later to try to clear the air, or at least try to prevent the victim from revealing the conversation to media. It was too late.
Netflix was forced to release a statement Monday, confirming that Yeatman spoke with the woman, and also appearing to confirm that the network has no intention of letting Masterson go until the LAPD has finished their work.
While he was coaching a youth soccer match today, Mr. Yeatman ― a Netflix kids’ programming executive ― was approached by a stranger who did not identify herself or explain her connection to Danny Masterson. Mr. Yeatman’s comments were careless, uninformed and do not represent the views of the company. Further, he would have no insights into decision making on The Ranch. We are aware of the allegations against Danny Masterson and we are following the current investigation, and will respond if developments occur.
Strangely enough, Netflix needed only a handful of sexual harassment allegations to terminate Kevin Spacey’s relationship with the streaming network and bring Spacey’s hit show, “House of Cards”, to a close. Only now, after weeks and several other allegations, is Spacey facing a criminal investigation. Masterson has, apparently, been under investigation for more than a decade, and law enforcement officials felt strong enough in their case against Masterson to refer it to the LA County Attorney.
The LAPD hasn’t even done that with Harvey Weinstein, and the mega-producer has nearly 90 outstanding accusations that range from sexual harassment to violent rape.