Masterson, who costarred and executive-produced the sitcom alongside former That ’70s Show costar Ashton Kutcher, was fired last December after being accused of raping four women in the early 2000s. He last appeared in the Part 5 finale when his character, Rooster Bennett, was threatened at gunpoint and forced to leave town. In Part 6, which was released on Friday, Rooster was killed off in a freak motorcycle accident (read recap). To help fill the void, Kutcher’s former Punk’d cohort Dax Shepard was cast in a recurring role.
“The Rooster may be MIA but The Ranch is back and it’s still incredible,” Masterson said on Instagram. “Please support this great show we spent years putting together. The cast is beyond incredible. The writers were given the ultimate worse case scenario and instead of throwing in the towel, they worked longer hours to create new, heartbreaking and hysterical storylines… Support them. Support comedy. Support art. Support the Iron River Ranch and the Bennett family.” (Elisha Cuthbert, who plays Abby on The Ranch, was among those to “like” Masterson’s post.)
In the wake of his firing, Masterson put out a statement, which in part read, “I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of The Ranch. From Day 1, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”
The investigation into Masterson’s alleged crimes was reopened in March 2017. The case was said to be ongoing as of July 2018, according to a report by The Daily Beast.