Danny Masterson is an American actor best known for his role as Steven Hyde on the sitcom That ’70s Show from 1998 to 2006. However, in recent years, Masterson has become very controversial and garnered a lot of backlash and hate from the public. There are several reasons why people have turned against Masterson and begun to strongly dislike him.
Accusations of Sexual Assault
One of the biggest reasons why Danny Masterson has become so disliked is due to serious accusations of sexual assault made against him.
Accusers and Allegations
In 2017, it was revealed that Masterson had been under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department since the early 2000s. Several women have come forward accusing Masterson of sexually assaulting them in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Some of his most public accusers include:
- Chrissie Carnell Bixler – dated Masterson in the late 90s/early 2000s, alleges he raped her while she was unconscious
- Bobette Riales – dated Masterson in the early 2000s, alleges he raped her while she was unconscious
- Cedric Bixler-Zavala – husband of Chrissie Carnell Bixler, vocal advocate for his wife
The accusations against Masterson are disturbing. The women describe being drugged or rendered unconscious by Masterson and then waking up to find him sexually assaulting or raping them. The similarities between the victims’ accounts suggest a pattern of predatory behavior.
Cover-Up Allegations Against Church of Scientology
In addition to the accusations themselves, there have also been allegations that the Church of Scientology attempted to cover up and suppress the reports against Masterson. Both Masterson and his accusers were practicing Scientologists at the time.
Critics claim the Church of Scientology silenced the victims, pressured them not to go to police, and took steps to protect one of their most famous members. The Church firmly denies these allegations. However, the alleged cover-up has fueled a lot of anger towards both the Church and Masterson.
In 2019, after a two year investigation, the LAPD referred Masterson’s case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and prosecutors charged him with three counts of rape. In 2021, Masterson pleaded not guilty and the case is currently awaiting trial.
The fact that the legal process has been drawn out over many years has angered people who believe the accusations warrant serious punishment. Many feel Masterson has avoided appropriate consequences.
Effects on Career
Since the accusations went public in 2017, Masterson’s career has taken a major hit. He was written off the Netflix show The Ranch amidst the controversy. And despite the charges, Masterson has continued to calmly deny all allegations and maintain his innocence.
The lack of contrition and his attempt to continue working in Hollywood despite the severity of the accusations has infuriated many people.
Association With Controversial Religious Group
Another reason people have turned against Masterson is his close association with Scientology – a religious group that has faced lots of criticism and controversy over the years.
Background on Scientology Criticisms
Scientology has been accused of brainwashing members, breaking up families, embezzlement, human trafficking and more. Their practices and beliefs are highly controversial. Many ex-members describe Scientology as a dangerous cult.
Masterson was born into Scientology and has been a practicing member his whole life. He has donated millions to the Church and even went as far as promoting a Scientology-backed anti-psychiatry museum on social media.
Due to the existing controversies surrounding Scientology, Masterson’s steadfast affiliation with the group has caused a lot of anger and resentment toward him. It’s seen as implicit support of a problematic organization.
Perceived Arrogance and Flippant Attitude
Separate from the more serious allegations, some people have criticized Danny Masterson’s general personality and public behavior as additional reasons to dislike him.
Past Interviews and Quotes
In past interviews and public statements, Masterson has come across as arrogant, dismissive and unwilling to take responsibility for his actions. For example:
- In a 2004 interview, he boasted about getting very drunk and destroying property.
- He often uses crude language and makes light of inappropriate behavior.
- In 2016, he made an insensitive comment about a Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costume “complete with d*ck”.
Social Media Presence
On social media, Masterson frequently makes flippant or sarcastic comments that rub people the wrong way. He often passive-aggressively jokes about his controversies in ways that feel disrespectful.
Overall, he seems unwilling to acknowledge the seriousness of the allegations and accusations against him. This flippant attitude has angered a lot of people.
Association With Other Controversial Figures
In addition to his personal controversies, Masterson has also been criticized for his friendships and associations with other famous figures who have faced backlash and criticism.
Friendship With Ashton Kutcher
Masterson was very close friends with his That 70’s Show co-star Ashton Kutcher. When the sexual assault allegations came out against Masterson, many criticized Kutcher for remaining silent and not denouncing his friend. Kutcher eventually stated he was “heartbroken” but faced backlash for not speaking out sooner.
Work With Louis C.K.
Masterson has continued to get acting work with controversial comedian Louis C.K. since his misconduct allegations. Working with Louis C.K. upsets people who feel it undermines the #MeToo movement.
Support for Other Controversial Figures
On social media, Masterson has shown support or defense for other famous men facing misconduct allegations like Casey Affleck, James Franco and Bryan Singer. Supporting these controversial figures has added to the dislike people feel towards Masterson.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many women have accused Danny Masterson of sexual assault?
At least 5 women have publicly accused Masterson of sexual assault. The charges filed against him by prosecutors focus on the allegations from 3 of the accusers specifically.
Has Danny Masterson made any public statements about the accusations?
Masterson has denied all the allegations very firmly and calmly. He has made few direct public statements himself. His lawyer has issued most of the denials on his behalf.
Is Danny Masterson still a member of the Church of Scientology?
Yes, by all accounts Masterson still remains an active, practicing member of the Church of Scientology. He was raised in the church and has not left it.
What was the role that made Danny Masterson famous?
From 1998 to 2006, Masterson played the character Steven Hyde on the Fox sitcom That ’70s Show. The role was his big break and made him a household name.
Has Danny Masterson been convicted of any crimes?
Not yet. In 2021, Masterson pleaded not guilty to the rape charges filed against him. His case has not yet gone to trial or reached a verdict. He maintains his innocence.
In summary, Danny Masterson has faced intense backlash and anger from the public for a variety of reasons. The sexual assault allegations against him are very serious and seen as highly credible by many. His steadfast affiliation with the controversial Church of Scientology also bothers many people.
He has additionally drawn criticism for his arrogant public persona, flippant jokes about misconduct, and friendships with other controversial figures. While Masterson denies all wrongdoing, the public outrage towards him continues to grow as he faces severe legal charges. However, the full facts have yet to be determined in a court of law. The outcome of his upcoming trial will likely impact public perception of Masterson going forward.