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Science was set to return to primetime this midseason with the return of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos to Fox and National Geographic. The Season 2 premiere was originally slated for early March, but that premiere date has reportedly been pushed back due to the sexual misconduct allegations against the host and famous science guru. Here’s what we know.
Fox and National Geographic are expected to postpone the second season premiere, according to Deadline. The Fox premiere was originally scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 3, placing it in the somewhat unlikely slot behind the network’s animated comedies. No details are currently available and no official statement has been released from Fox. As such, no new target release window has been announced. For now, we can only wait and see.
The premiere date had been set prior to reports of sexual misconduct being leveled against Neil deGrasse Tyson back in November 2018. The accusations resulted in the launch of an investigation by Fox, Nat Geo, and Cosmos producers.
The delay is reportedly not due to any findings of the investigation, but rather that the investigation is still happening, and Fox and Nat Geo don’t want to make any permanent decisions about the series until the investigation is complete. Neil deGrasse Tyson also hosts Nat Geo’s StarTalk; that program has been off the air ever since news of the allegations against him broke.
The allegations that surfaced in late November came from three women, and Neil deGrasse Tyson was accused of groping, sending unwanted advances, and rape. Neil deGrasse Tyson responded to the accusations against him in a lengthy post on Facebook, in which he specifically addressed each instance of alleged misconduct.
In response to the groping accusation, Neil deGrasse Tyson states the instance was “simply a search under the covered part of her shoulder of the sleeveless dress,” stating that he only learned that the woman involved was uncomfortable with it nine years later, and would have apologized immediately if he’d known. This allegation came from Dr. Katelyn N. Allers, who said that she feels deGrasse Tyson doesn’t respect “female bodily autonomy,” although she does not consider it assault.
The woman who claimed that he had initiated unwanted advanced was his former assistant, Ashley Watson. She quit her job after feeling uncomfortable when he invited her to a wine and cheese evening at his place. Neil deGrasse Tyson stated that he apologized when she expressed her discomfort the next day, but she quit her job anyway.
The rape accusation came from Tchiya Amet, who attended graduate school with Neil deGrasse Tyson in the 80s. She claimed that deGrasse Tyson slipped her a date rape drug and then sexually assaulted her, which she says gave her PTSD and threw her career off track. In response, deGrasse Tyson said that it was “as though a false memory had been implanted,” as she could not remember what had happened that night.
Only time will tell what the investigation by Fox and Nat Geo produces and whether Cosmos will make it back to the air. For some viewing options now that Cosmos won’t be back, check out our midseason TV premiere schedule.