Chris D'Elia Prank Show Scrapped at Netflix After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Netflix has scrapped an upcoming prank show featuring Chris D'Elia in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations brought against the comedian, a spokesperson for the streaming service confirms to PEOPLE.
The decision to not move forward with the show was made shortly after the allegations surfaced last month.
In June, multiple young women came forward with allegations that that the comedian and actor, 40, "groomed" them from their teen years and requested sexual photos via the internet. D'Elia denied the allegations.
In a Twitter thread, user Simone Rossi, who uses the handle @girlpowertbh, shared screenshots of an alleged conversation she had with D'Elia in 2014 when she was 16 years old.
The screenshots appear to show D'Elia requesting "a pic" from Rossi, now 22, and asking if they could "make out" when she was 16. (D'Elia has said he never knowingly engaged in online conversations with a minor and never exchanged inappropriate pictures.)
"Imagine being 16 and being groomed by a stand up comedian twice ur age and the only reason you never met up and never got physically m*lested was because u had just gotten a boyfriend ur own age," she wrote.
"For the longest time i thought it was embarrassing for ME that i was interacting with this older man but he was the one who DM'd me on twitter and was the one who was twice my age and was the one that used the power imbalance between us to his advantage so f*ck chris d'elia," she continued.
In a statement to PEOPLE, D'Elia said, "I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point."
"All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me," he continued. "That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That's MY fault. I own it. I've been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better."
D'Elia — whose latest comedy special, Chris D'Elia: No Pain, debuted on Netflix in April — has not been criminally or civilly charged.
Rossi went on to point to what she called the "irony" of D'Elia's role in season 2 of You, in which he played Henderson, a famous comedian who preyed on underage girls. (The character died during the season and will not return for season 3.)
"I still can't believe netflix cast chris d'elia as the pedophile in season to of 'you' like the literal IRONY," she tweeted, adding, "f--- you @chrisdelia and also @netflix i highly doubt casting this creep as a pedophile was a coincidence. at least i got to see him fake die."
Netflix did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment at the time.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Rossi shed more light on her alleged conversations with D'Elia.
"When I was 16 I replied to a picture that Chris had tweeted. I'm pretty sure I said 'cute.' He immediately DM'd me on his verified Twitter account an email address and the words 'Use it,' hence why in some of the emails I posted the subject line is 'Use it???' We emailed briefly, he asked if I was in LA, I said no, he said 'How we supposed to make out then' and he asked for 'pics' to which I replied with a panda photo and a selfie. I used a laughing face emoji at one point and he said 'What’s with that emoji?' so then I switched to a kissy face emoji. That was a majority of our conversation from summer 2014," she said.
"Then on New Years Day 2015, that’s when he asked to hang out when he was in Tempe. I don’t know how he remembered I lived in Arizona based off a conversation from 5 months prior, but he did. That’s the second time he talked about 'making out' with me. He asked for my Instagram at that point and began following me," she continued. "My Instagram at the time was full of pictures of me at my high school, pictures of my friends and I, and other images you would expect a high schooler to post. It also had my high school name in my bio, as I was in Student Government and that was often something I flaunted. This gives me reason to believe that he knew I was underage and I also personally believe that’s why he pursued me. He eventually unfollowed me and never talked to me again after I didn’t end up meeting up with him or sending him nudes. The last emails I have are from January 2015. I was still 16."
After Rossi's thread went viral, several other Twitter users shared similar allegations against D'Elia.
"Although i've been publicly saying it for years, F--- Chris D'elia," tweeted user @michaelacoletta. "he solicited nudes off of me when i was 17 years old and constantly messaged me whenever he was touring vancouver and asked me to come backstage to his shows."
Abby Grills, who uses the handle @AGrillz, shared alleged screenshots of her conversation with D'Elia on Facebook Messenger in 2011. The screenshots appear to show Grills informing D'Elia that he was "a little too old" for her despite his repeated advances.
In her statement to PEOPLE, Rossi explained why she decided to come forward, saying, "It took me a long time to realize what happened to me wasn’t just a funny joke to tell at parties. I was being preyed on, and when you’re that young, and especially when you’re talking to someone so famous, you think it’s cool and exciting. It took years until it finally clicked and I realized 'that seemed off.'"