Famed astrophysicist and motion picture over-explainer Neil deGrasse Tyson may have dreams of someday escaping the Earth’s gravity, but he has not eluded getting swept up in the heavy pull of the #MeToo movement. The announcement has been made by the Fox Network that his newest program, Cosmos: Possible Worlds has been pulled from its premier next month.
Tyson has found himself under a cloud of suspicion since last fall. In November two women came forward to say they had been on the receiving end of inappropriate sexual conduct by the scientist. One, Katelyn Allers, is a physics and astronomy professor at Bucknell University. She detailed his actions at a public event where he was groping her, some of which was caught on camera.
The second accuser is a former assistant who detailed numerous behaviors from Tyson of a suggestive and troubling nature. She said that as a result of his persistent actions she ended up quitting the job.
Following these accusations the producers of Tyson programs expressed concern over the host. Fox and National Geographic together commissioned the series, a follow up to a PBS version of Cosmos that network aired in 2014. In November the entities released joint statement: “We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent reports.” Separately the producers of the new series had their own comments:
“The credo at the heart of Cosmos is to follow the evidence wherever it leads. 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.”
Although further details on the investigation have not been commented on, there has been the reactions. In January the program Star Talk was taken off the air, a talk show on the National Geographic Channel hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Now Fox decides to pull the new Cosmos from its scheduled premiere, which was to be on Sunday, March 3.
There was a longtime charge of rape floating around Tyson’s name, made by a student who attended college with Tyson, in the 1980s. She states that at his campus apartment she was drugged, and then sexually assaulted. She reported the incident to campus authorities, whom she says downplayed the incident and encouraged her to not take any further action.