MTV's Catfish Has Suspended Production Over Sexual Misconduct Claims

MTV's Catfish is a TV show like no other, showing viewers plenty of ways the Internet allows people to fake certain aspects of their lives. Now, a former show subject has come forward with claims that host and executive producer Nev Schulman has some of his own closeted skeletons to hide, alleging that Schulman and another producer made strong sexual advances on her when she appeared on the show in 2015. In response to the allegations, MTV has temporarily brought Catfish's production to a halt in order to set up an investigation into the matter.

On May 12, Ayissha Morgan posted a video on YouTube that alleged during her time on the show, Nev Schulman pressured her to "reevaluate" her sexuality, on top of trying to get her to have sex with him. (She referred to him as "Jack" therein.) A second video posted two days later brought the additional claims that a female producer named "Carol" got Morgan drunk one evening and took advantage of her. Morgan then stated the next day, Schulman tried to get her to go to his hotel room, where he allegedly made more sexual propositions.

After these allegations went public and got attention, MTV stepped in and stopped the production on Catfish's seventh season. The network provided this statement, according to The Daily Beast.

We take these allegations very seriously. We're working with Critical Content, our third party production company, to conduct a thorough investigation, and we've put a pause on shooting until the investigation is completed.

No details were shared as far as how long the investigation might last, and no further identification was provided for any other producers under investigation. Now that ti's gone public, an accusation of this magnitude won't be brushed under the rug at the network, so it will be interesting to see what gets discovered, if anything.

For his part, Nev Schulman has denied that Ayissha's accusations hold merit, and the MTV star seems to believe that he's got several witnesses that will back his side of the story.

The behavior described in this video did not happen and I'm fortunate that there are a number of former colleagues who were present during this time period who are willing to speak up with the truth. I have always been transparent about my life and would always take responsibility for my actions---but these claims are false.

Catfish is just the latest TV show to face controversy over workplace misconduct allegations. This week saw the ousting of NCIS: New Orleans showrunner Brad Kern, who was the subject of two behind-the-scenes investigations, and several other shows in recent months have also had employees allegedly engaging in troublesome behavior. And regardless of how the Catfish situation plays out, one hopes that all this attention can only help the overall problem.

With the previously announced spinoff series set to take aim at Internet trolls, Catfish's producers seemed like they would have been worthy candidates to bring their ground-up investigations to the entertainment industry's world of sexual harassment and abuse. But that clearly doesn't sound ideal at this point. So for now, fans will have to wait and see what MTV's investigation surfaces, in order to see if and when Season 7 will make its way to fans. In the meantime, head to our summer premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.