Where is Hyde? Here’s how That 90s Show presented Danny Masterson character’s absence

danny masterson at 2017 CMT Music Awards Show
Danny Masterson during the 2017 CMT Music Awards at Music City Center. Pic credit: © Farr/AdMedia

Actor Danny Masterson was recently sentenced to 30 years to life for raping two women that were former members of the Church of Scientology.

He appeared in several sitcoms during his career, including That 70s Show, which aired from 1998 to 2006 on Fox and continues to get shown on TV via reruns.

The series co-starred Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Wilmer Valderrama, Laura Prepon, and Topher Grace, among others, who were part of a group of friends navigating various adventures in the 1970s.

Masterson portrayed Steven Hyde during the series. A spinoff sequel called That 90s Show was released on Netflix last year.

As one might expect, it presented the former 70s kids as adults, now grown up and dealing with their life journeys in the 1990s.

Due to ongoing controversy attached to Masterson when the show was filmed, he didn’t return for That 90s Show while many of his castmates appeared in episodes.

How did That 90s Show address Hyde’s absence?

Eric Forman (Grace) and Donna Pinciotti (Prepon) were among That 70s Show’s romances during its eight-season run, and their relationship set up the basis for the spinoff, That 90s Show.

The Netflix spinoff series focused on Erica and Donna’s daughter, Leia Forman (Callie Haverda). Many of That 70s Show’s original characters returned with the original actors as main, recurring, or guest stars.

Kitty Forman (Debra Jo Rupp) and Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith) were back as main cast members, portraying Leia’s paternal grandparents. Meanwhile, Donna was among the recurring characters with Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), while Eric (Grace) showed up as one of the guest stars.

Kucher and Kunis also appeared as guest stars, reprising their roles as Michael Kelso and Jackie Burkhart. They’d since had a son, Jay Kelso (Mace Coronel), who was featured as Leia’s love interest in That 90s Show.  

Michael and Jackie also indicated they were getting remarried, which seemed to shut the door on any sort of Hyde and Jackie relationship in That 90s Show.

The show was filmed in front of a live studio audience in Los Angeles between February 7 and July 21, 2022. At the time, Masterson had a pending criminal trial.

His character, Steven Hyde, never appeared and was never mentioned once during the series due to his controversy and ongoing criminal trial.

A second season of That 90s Show was announced but was postponed due to the writer’s strike. The speculation is that it will be released sometime in 2024.

Masterson was fired from another Netflix show due to rape charges

Before That 90s Show hit Netflix without Masterson, he appeared in another Netflix sitcom, The Ranch, with his co-star Kucherson. Masterson portrayed Jameson “Rooster” Ford Bennett.

He appeared in the first three seasons of the scripted comedy but was fired in 2017 following multiple allegations of rape against him and the ongoing investigation.

“As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch. [Monday] was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him,” Netflix said in a statement about the firing.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, a petition had started in 2017 calling for Netflix to cancel The Ranch due to the controversy surrounding Masterson.

However, the show ran for five more seasons after his firing, with Kucher still starring in the series along with Debra Winger, Sam Elliott, and Elisha Cuthbert.

This past May, Masterson was convicted of raping two women while a hung jury deadlocked a third charge. As of Thursday, September 7, 2023, he was sentenced to 30 days to life in prison.

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