Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson is under investigation by Fox, Nat Geo, and the producers of the show following allegations of sexual misconduct by two women. The second installment of the Cosmos revival is set to premiere on March 3, 2019, following the positive response to Tyson's first turn at hosting the documentary series in 2014. However, last year a woman accused Tyson of drugging and raping her while they were both grad students, and it seems that wasn't the end to allegations of predatory behavior.
Tyson is an astrophysicist whose books include pop science titles like Death By Black Hole and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Prior to becoming the face of the Cosmos revival, Tyson hosted the PBS series Nova ScienceNow, and is a frequent commentator on outer space and our solar system - particularly the debate over whether or not Pluto is a planet - as well as judging the scientific accuracy of movies and TV shows.
As initially reported by Patheos, two woman have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct by Tyson. The first is Bucknell University Associate Professor Dr. Katelyn N. Allers, who says that Tyson noticed her solar system tattoo at a party in 2009, and "kind of grabbed me to look at it," and then "looked for Pluto, and followed the tattoo into my dress." Photos from the event show Tyson and Allers at the party, and Tyson grabbing Allers' arm to inspect her tattoo. The other allegation comes from Tyson's former assistant Ashley Watson, who says that she was forced to quit her job after Tyson made repeated sexual advances towards her, despite her efforts to dissuade him.
Deadline reports that Fox, Nat Geo, and the Cosmos producers have launched an investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct. In a statement regarding the investigation, the show's producers said:
"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."
Fox and Net Geo released a joint statement saying, "We have only just become aware of the recent allegations regarding Neil deGrasse Tyson... We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent reports." The reports emerge as the latest in a series of allegations regarding sexual misconduct, assault, and rape by high-profile TV and film industry figures, with the most shocking case being the litany of allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, which have since led to criminal charges.
UPDATE: Neil deGrasse Tyson has released official remarks regarding the allegations.