Andy Yeatman, director of global kids content at Netflix, was terminated by the company on Dec. 11 over the comments, which were reportedly made in early December at a children’s soccer game. A Netflix spokesperson confirmed the firing for Deadline: “Mr. Yeatman is no longer employed at Netflix.”
Yeatman reportedly made the remarks while on the sidelines of a children’s soccer game and allegedly did not know he was speaking to a Masterson accuser.
Yeatman has released a statement:
“While I was coaching one of my daughter’s soccer games, I was approached by a stranger who asked if I worked at Netflix. She went on to question why we were not canceling a show in which one of the actors was accused of sexual assault. To try and end the conversation and refocus on the soccer game I made a careless and uniformed comment. I did not know that the woman was one of the victims and I deeply regret that I did not have the opportunity to focus on the conversation.I am proud of Netflix’s values and I condemn sexual violence in the strongest possible terms. I have always believed that victims’ voices should be heard and that every victim should get the justice they deserve. My heart goes out to anyone who has been sexually assaulted or harmed in any way.I am truly grateful to all the friends, colleagues and members of my community who know me and my family and have reached out to support us during this difficult time. For those who don’t know me and only read the headlines, think about yourself in this situation and how a 30-second conversation on a Sunday morning could change the course of your life.
Actor Masterson has been under a cloud of suspicion over accusations by four women that he had raped them in the early 2000s. With renewed attention to the case amid the current crackdown on sexual harassment and sexual assault in Hollywood, Netflix parted ways with the actor, who stars opposite Ashton Kutcher in the Internet network’s popular multi-camera comedy series The Ranch. Masterson has denied the allegations.
The Yeatman issue arose on Dec. 4 after HuffPost published an anonymous accuser’s account of alleged inaction by Netflix on rape accusations against Masterson. Identified as “Victim B” in the story, the accuser claimed she met Yeatman at the soccer game and asked why no action had been taken, leading to his remarks that the company did not believe the accusers.
Netflix later confirmed the comments, calling them “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.”
The day after the HuffPost piece was published, Netflix announced that it had fired Masterson from The Ranch and had written him out of the series. “Production will resume in early 2018 without him,” the company said in a Dec. 5 statement.
Masterson still has appearances in the second half of season two, which bows Dec. 15, and could potentially also appear in parts of season three.