All eyes are back on the cast of That ‘70s Show — and Danny Masterson — as Netflix releases the sequel series, That ‘90s Show, featuring appearances by Laura Prepon, Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and Wilmer Valderrama.
Masterson, who played Steven Hyde on the comedy series, which ran on Fox from 1998 to 2006, wasn’t asked back for the new show as he faces a second trial for sexual assault allegations.
The actor made headlines in March 2017 when four women alleged Masterson had sexually assaulted them on separate occasions in the early 2000s. A fifth woman subsequently came forward.
“From day one, 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,” he said in a statement at the time. “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.”
In June 2020, Masterson was charged with three counts of forcible rape, with Los Angeles County District Attorney explaining at the time that two of the women’s cases had insufficient evidence and statutes of limitations. He subsequently pleaded not guilty.
A trial began in October 2022. The following month, news broke that a judge declared a mistrial as the jury was unable to come to a unanimous vote. While Masterson’s team requested to dismiss the case in January 2023, a judge rejected the proposal and a date of March 29, 2023, was set for jury selection for a second trial.
“It appears there are many other witnesses the People could choose to call or different arguments the People could choose to make,” Judge Charlaine Olmedo said at the time. “A different outcome at a retrial is at least a possibility.”
Masterson’s career came to a halt amid the accusations, with Netflix cutting ties with the actor amid production on season 3 of The Ranch — a show he appeared in alongside Kutcher — in December 2017. Grace, meanwhile, was the first cast member to address the scandal.
“You know, I hesitate to say that I never saw any of that behavior because I feel like it sounds like I’m defending him, but the truth is I never saw any of that stuff,” the actor who played Eric Forman told The Hollywood Reporter in May 2018. “I was, of that cast, the most boring. So when it came to going out after the show and partying, I just was boring.”
When That ‘90s Show premiered in January 2023, Masterson’s Hyde was not mentioned and excluded from a flashback scene pulled from the OG show. He was, however, supportive of the series when it was initially announced in 2021.
“This is literally the dopest thing I’ve heard in a decade,” he wrote via Instagram before praising Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp, who returned as Red and Kitty, respectively, to be full-time cast members. “So f—king excited for @therealkurtwoodsmith and @debrajorupp two of the great humans and greatest actors on this planet. Can’t wait to watch and laugh. Same creators / writers / producers as 70s.”
Scroll through to find out which members of the That ‘70s Show cast have spoken out about Masterson: