Chrissie Carnell Bixler is one of four women who’ve accused That ’70s Show star Danny Masterson of rape — allegations he’s denied — and she’s now gone on the record with The Daily Beast to criticize Netflix for continuing to produce and stream his show, The Ranch.
Bixler says it is hypocritical of Netflix to halt production of its Kevin Spacey show House of Cards and sever all ties with the actor while continuing to support Masterson and The Ranch. Spacey is currently facing more than a dozen allegations of sexual harassment and assault, and has entered a facility “to seek evaluation and treatment.”
“For me, what Netflix has done feels like a continuation of how the Church of Scientology made me feel when I reported my rape to them, as well as how Danny Masterson made me feel when I would beg him for an apology, an explanation, anything,” Bixler said to the Daily Beast. “I was made to feel unimportant. I was made to feel like I didn’t matter.”
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“‘Danny Masterson is a celebrity. He flourishes and prospers in life. You protect that and reward that.’ — direct quote from the Church of Scientology. I don’t matter. The other women don’t matter. Our pain means nothing, and we should be good little girls and shut our mouths. No!”
Masterson, 40, a longtime Scientologist, was first investigated by Los Angeles police in early March when three women filed reports of being sexually assaulted by the actor in the early 2000s. He has never been charged with a crime.
A representative for Masterson claims that the women were motivated to come forward by a producer for Leah Remini‘s Scientology TV show, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and the rep also says one of the accusers was once his girlfriend, who continued to date him after the alleged incident. His rep has attacked the credibility of the accusations, saying it amounts to nothing more than a PR stunt for the show and against Scientology. Here is the statement in full:
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Bixler’s husband, The Mars Volta lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala, tweeted in anger on Thursday, alleging that Twitter, celebrity news site TMZ and the LAPD are “bought and paid for” by Scientology, insinuating the truth is being buried by the religious organization.
“I will not shut my mouth when Netflix tries to make us feel like we don’t matter,” Bixler said to the Daily Beast. “Victims are taking back the power that was stolen from us, and things are going to change. Netflix should write that down.”
Last year, Bixler thanked Remini for giving her the strength to leave Scientology.
On Friday, Bixler stated how difficult it was for her to come forward with her allegations, and thanked people for supporting her.
Well-known Scientology reporter Tony Ortega, who first broke the news about the accusations and the LAPD investigation of Masterson, said that all but one of the alleged victims were Scientologists at the time of the supposed rapes. Ortega posted police reports of the alleged attacks (which have not been authenticated by Global News).
The first Masterson accuser says she wrote a letter to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on Feb. 22, stating, in part:
(A suppressive person is anyone considered to be against Scientology; if found to be an SP, that person is expelled from Scientology, and forcibly separated from friends and family in a process known as “disconnection.” The church has recently denied that this practice exists, but current and former Scientologists say it’s still a part of the religion.)
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The Huffington Post reported on Nov. 2 that the LAPD investigation into Masterson has “inexplicably stalled,” despite the gathering of compelling evidence in the case.
Within days of the accusations against Spacey by fellow actor Anthony Rapp, Netflix had cut all ties with Spacey and cancelled House of Cards. Netflix announced in October — seven months after the investigation into Masterson became public — that Part 4 of The Ranch would be available for streaming on Dec. 15.
“We are aware of the allegations and the subsequent investigation, and will respond if developments occur,” said Netflix in regards to the Masterson accusations.
The Church of Scientology has not commented specifically about the Masterson allegations, only sending a letter to The Daily Beast from a law firm representing the organization. It reads, partially:
“It is per se defamatory to accuse the Church of engaging in, fostering, or covering up criminal behavior… The Church will not stand by idly and be accused, directly or by implication, of committing a crime.”
Masterson hasn’t responded to requests for comment in relation to Bixler’s latest remarks. The LA District Attorney’s office also declined to comment.
— With files from The Associated Press