'I came up short and unintentionally spilled salt on some very real wounds,' Andy Yeatman writes in a 'Hollywood Reporter' guest column
The Netflix executive who was fired for telling one of Danny Masterson’s accusers that “we don’t believe” the rape claims made against The Ranch star is for the first time publicly addressing his “careless, offhanded comment.”
In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, Andy Yeatman, the streaming service’s former director of global kids content, recounted how, while coaching his daughter’s youth soccer game, he was approached by a woman wanting to know why Netflix still employed Masterson, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. He has denied the allegations.
“At that point, I should have excused myself and referred her to someone at the company who was authorized to discuss the show,” wrote Yeatman, who says he “never worked on the show, did not know [Masterson] and had no insight.” “Unfortunately, I didn’t. My reply, which I hoped would end the conversation so I could refocus on coaching, came out horribly wrong. I said: ‘Netflix takes these things very seriously. Maybe in this case we don’t believe them [the accusations].’ I immediately regretted it.”
After that answer, the woman revealed to Yeatman that she was one of Masterson’s accusers. “When she told me that she was one of the victims before walking away, my heart sank,” he continued. “I realize now that my words on that Los Feliz soccer field inadvertently reinforced the widely held and well-founded belief on the part of sexual assault victims that people in power presumptively do not believe them. I have always strived to be thoughtful and conscientious. But in that brief moment, I came up short and unintentionally spilled salt on some very real wounds. I apologized for this at the time and take full responsibility for it today.”
Shortly thereafter, Netflix cut ties with Masterson (in a statement to EW, he expressed his disappointment in the streaming platform’s decision, again denied the “outrageous allegations” and says authorities “investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit”), and then, a week later did the same with Yeatman. At the time, the streaming service said: “Mr. Yeatman’s comments were careless, uninformed and do not represent the views of the company.”
Read Yeatman’s full column at THR.