According to Huffington Post, Netflix’s global director of kids programming Andy Yeatman found himself in an uncomfortable situation at a children’s soccer game this past weekend. Yeatman was approached by a woman who demanded to know why actor Danny Masterson–who has been accused of raping four women and is the subject of an active LAPD investigation–still has a show, The Ranch, on the streaming platform. When confronted, Yeatman allegedly told the woman that the company takes sexual misconduct matters seriously, but that “we don’t believe them” regarding Masterson’s accusers. The woman then said, “I’m one of them,” implying that she was one of the mentioned accusers.
Later in the day, Yeatman reportedly approached the woman to “clear the air.” She’s identified as Victim B in the following Huffington Post excerpt:
Victim B said Yeatman approached her at the game about an hour later, ostensibly to clear the air, and told her that he’d had no idea she was one of Masterson’s alleged victims. Victim B told HuffPost that she began to cry and told Yeatman, “I hope no one ever says that to your daughter.”
Yeatman then told her that he can’t decide whether Netflix takes action against Masterson.
Victim B told Yeatman that she and the other women accusing Masterson of rape were telling the truth and that “Netflix is going to regret this, this is a mistake, they’re going to see.”
Victim B said, and the witness confirmed, that Yeatman said, in what they described as a condescending tone, “we’ll see.”
A Netflix spokesman denied that Yeatman said “we’ll see.”
A rep from Netflix provided the following statement to Huffington Post:
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.
The unsettling part of Netflix’s statement is echoing Yeatman’s implication that his comments might have been different, perhaps significantly so, if the woman had immediately informed Yeatman that she was one of Masterson’s accusers.
Netflix’s continued tacit support of Masterson is interesting to watch in light of how quickly the streaming service acted against former House of Cards star Kevin Spacey when he was accused of multiple instances of sexual assault. In that case, Spacey said he did not remember an incident with the actor Anthony Rapp that, when publicized, broke the dam of allegations against him, but he also did not deny it. Masterson, on the other hand, has said nothing publicly about the LAPD’s investigation into the rape accusations against him, which is what appears to have bought him some time in the eyes of Netflix, which says only that it “will respond if developments occur” in the “current investigation” of the actor.