Neil deGrasse Tyson has become a figure in pop culture thanks to his TV hosting gigs and his scientific commentary on things like movies and TV shows. Tyson has been off the air for months, however, due to allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him. An investigation into the allegations took place, and Tyson is now returning to Fox as host of Cosmos.
Cosmos was originally intended to premiere its second season on March 3, but it was delayed indefinitely in early February. His Nat Geo show StarTalk was pulled from the airwaves as well back in November due to the allegations and the investigation. For his part, Neil deGrasse Tyson said that he welcomed the process and could recognize "the value of an independent investigation."
No premiere date for Cosmos has been announced just yet, but it will apparently return to Fox. The show will also air on Nat Geo. Neither Fox nor Nat Geo reportedly commented on the investigation, but Deadline states that the investigation did not turn up anything that would warrant Cosmos and StarTalk remaining off the air. In a joint statement, Fox and Nat Geo said this:
Allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced back in November, with three women coming forward to accuse Neil deGrasse Tyson of groping, unwanted advances, and rape. Fox and Nat Geo took the accusations seriously enough to launch the investigation, which apparently ran for months.
Neil deGrasse Tyson was open about his point-of-view on the incidents that resulted in accusations from the women. With regard to the groping allegation, Dr. Katelyn N. Allers came forward. Dr. Allers stated that she does not consider the reported incident to be assault, but still disrespectful to "female bodily autonomy." For his part, Tyson said that the action that Dr. Allers found objectionable was "simply a search under the covered part of her shoulder of her sleeveless dress."
His former assistant, Ashley Watson, is the woman who claimed unwanted advances from Neil deGrasse Tyson, and she quit her job after feeling uncomfortable when he extended an invitation to a wine and cheese evening. The rape allegation came from Tchiya Amet, who was a graduate student alongside Tyson back in the 80s. Her claim was that Tyson had drugged her and then sexually assaulted her, traumatizing her and throwing off her career.
We may never know what the investigation did or did not turn up, but the two networks clearly felt it was appropriate to bring Tyson back to TV. StarTalk will be back on Nat Geo in April, and Cosmos will return to Fox at a later but currently unspecified date. There are plenty of other viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future as well.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).