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Netflix Fires Executive Over Danny Masterson Comment

UPDATED: A Netflix executive has been fired for comments he made in connection with the streaming service’s investigation of rape claims against actor Danny Masterson.

Andy Yeatman, previously Netflix’s director of kids and family content, reportedly told a woman earlier this month that Netflix did not believe the allegations of sexual assault from multiple women against Masterson, a former star of the Netflix comedy “The Ranch.” In a statement, Yeatman apologized for making a “careless” and “uninformed” comment.

The encounter between Yeatman and an unidentified woman was reported in detail earlier this month by the Huffington Post. Yeatman was coaching a youth soccer game in Los Angeles on a weekend when he was approached by a woman he didn’t know who asked him about the Masterson situation. Masterson was fired from the show on Dec. 5 amid the outcry over Netflix’s inaction despite the multiple assault allegations.

After a brief discussion, the woman told Yeatman she was one of four Masterson accusers whose complaints have sparked an investigation by Los Angeles County authorities. Netflix in a statement issued earlier this month called Yeatman’s comments “careless” and “uninformed” but it also noted that Yeatman had no involvement with “The Ranch” or Netflix’s investigation.

“Mr. Yeatman is no longer employed at Netflix,” a company spokeswoman said Tuesday evening.

Yeatman had been Netflix’s longtime head of kidvid programming. He spoke about the streaming service’s ambitious expansion plans in October during a keynote address at the Mipcom convention in Cannes. Yeatman joined Netflix in 2011 from Disney.

Yeatman is clearly reeling from a chance encounter that wound up costing him his job amid the heightened sensitivity to sexual harassment issues in the entertainment industry.

Here is Yeatman’s full 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.

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