National Geographic Has Paused Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Show After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Four women have accused the famous astrophysicist of sexual misconduct, including rape.
National Geographic has hit the brakes on Neil deGrasse Tyson's talk show StarTalk after four women accused him of sexual misconduct, including rape.
A spokesperson for National Geographic told BuzzFeed News on Thursday that they "chose to hold new episodes of Star Talk until the investigation is completed."
Just three episodes of StarTalk's fifth season had aired prior to the announcement, the most recent one airing on Nov. 26. According to Variety, which first reported the news, the season was supposed to contain 20 episodes.
“In order to allow the investigation to occur unimpeded we chose to hold new episodes of ‘Star Talk’ until it is complete,” a spokesperson for National Geographic told Variety. “We expect that to happen in the next few weeks at which time we’ll make a final decision.”
The first allegations against Tyson came from Tchiya Amet in 2014, who claimed he had drugged and raped her in the 1980s. Amet's allegations, which she wrote about on a blog, were not taken seriously and did not have a significant impact at the time.
The allegations resurfaced last month after two more women, Ashley Watson and Katelyn Allers, made on-the-record harassment allegations against Tyson on the blog Patheos.
Watson claimed Tyson had made unwanted sexual advances while she was his assistant, including saying she was too “distracting” to succeed as a producer.
Allers said Tyson had grabbed her arm and reached into her dress at a party at the 2009 American Astronomical Society conference.
Following the publication of Watson and Allers' stories, a fourth woman told BuzzFeed News that Tyson had sexually harassed her in 2010.
In a statement last month, the producers of StarTalk announced they would investigate the allegations against the show's star.
“The credo at the heart of COSMOS is to follow the evidence wherever it leads,” the show’s producers said. “The producers of COSMOS can do no less in this situation. We are committed to a thorough investigation of this matter and to act accordingly as soon as it is concluded.”
Tyson responded in a statement on Facebook, saying he "welcome[d]" an investigation by Fox and National Geographic, and has flatly denied raping Amet, saying it is "as though a false memory had been implanted."
He confirmed much of what Watson and Allers alleged, apologizing for what he said were awkward displays of affection that were taken the wrong way.