Celebrity astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson – lovingly referred to as the ‘Black Science Man‘ by some of his supporters – may be the latest casualty of the #metoo era. Several woman are publicly accusing him of sexual improprieties.
Katelyn Allers, a physics and astronomy professor at Bucknell University, is accusing Tyson of groping her at an American Astronomical Society meeting that occurred nearly a decade ago. Ashley Watson noted that Tyson regularly made “misogynistic comments” and often tried to get her in bed in a manner that was unprofessional while they were co-workers. Musician Tchiya Amet also made the claim that she was drugged and raped by Tyson back in the 1980s.
Tyson’s employers, Fox and National Geographic, are now looking into the matter and investigating the legitimacy of the claims.
“We have only just become aware of the recent allegations regarding Neil deGrasse Tyson,” they wrote. “We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent reports.”
Tyson’s television show, COSMOS, originally premiered in 2014. The program – billed as a fantastical journey through the stars enabled by technology – had been on hiatus for years, but was scheduled for another run on the Fox Network in 2019. Those plans are now in complete jeopardy pending the current investigation by the network. The show may be given a new host or scrapped entirely if the claims stick.
“The credo at the heart of COSMOS is to follow the evidence wherever it leads,” the producers of COSMOS wrote.
“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,” they wrote.
Tyson released a massive statement on the matter on his Facebook account which can be seen in its entirety here.
Our beloved black science man will be lucky to hang on with his career and reputation when this is all said and done. In the age of #metoo, a mere accusation presented without evidence can be enough to ruin somebody’s life. Tyson has aggressively supported progressive politics in the past so, at the end of the day, he has nobody to blame but himself for his current predicament.