Neil deGrasse Tyson Will Return to TV After Sexual Misconduct Investigation

Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Onward18 Conference in New York City, Oct. 23, 2018.
Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Onward18 Conference in New York City, Oct. 23, 2018.
Photo: Craig Barritt (Getty Images for Onward18)

The National Geographic Channel and Fox Broadcasting said they have completed their investigation of astrophysicist and TV celebrity Neil deGrasse Tyson over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, and will air two of his shows that have been postponed, Entertainment Weekly reported on Friday.

The channel said it would be airing StarTalk and Cosmos: Possible Worlds (the latter of which has been postponed beyond its March 3 premiere date) following the conclusion of the inquiry. However, Entertainment Weekly wrote it did not elaborate on its reasoning:

NatGeo would only say “the investigation is complete” in a statement released to EW. Though it would not release its findings, it did reveal that StarTalk, Tyson’s talk show that’s now in its fifth season, will return to the air for 13 episodes in April. The network also said it remains “committed” to airing a third season of Cosmos, which is a revival of a franchise created by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. Though it was originally scheduled to debut sometime this spring across the Fox and NatGeo channels, no airdate has been set.


Four different women have accused Tyson of sexual misconduct. Former University of Texas at Austin classmate Tchiya Amet El Maat has said that Tyson drugged and raped her in 1984, while Bucknell University in Pennsylvania physics and astronomy professor Katelyn Allers said that Tyson inappropriately touched her at an American Astronomical Society gathering in 2009. Ashley Watson, an assistant to Tyson on the Cosmos series, said she quit her job after Tyson made unwelcome sexual advances. BuzzFeed News reported a fourth woman has said Tyson approached her while drunk at a 2010 American Museum of Natural History party, making sexual jokes and asking her to meet him alone in his office.

Tyson has denied that he raped El Maat and called her credibility into question, as well as stated that the incidents involving Allers and Watson were misunderstandings. According to the New York Times, a spokesman for National Geographic declined to comment about what investigators determined, deferring to the brief statement already sent out.

“I feel ignored,” El Maat told the Times on Friday, adding that she planned to be “more vocal, more active” in response. Watson told the Times that the incidents were “always the word of a low-level assistant and a perceived eccentric woman of color against an extremely powerful and wealthy TV personality,” adding that El Maat “has my support and I believe her.” Allers said she had spoken to investigators, but declined to comment beyond that to the Times.

[Entertainment Weekly/New York Times]


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Tebow Kneeled First

The rape allegation still felt a little weird. While you should always believe women that story is near impossible to verify. I absolutely believe he was being a creep the rest of the time, though. What irks me here is he didn't apologize and couched his behavior under misunderstandings, which is bullshit. I really wish more of these guys would at least own their inappropriate behavior to women and vow to do something about it, instead of deny there was ever a problem.