This one stings almost as much as the Joss Whedon one. And the George Takei one. And Scott Baio. That last one was to verify if you’re still paying attention. And to illustrate that all of your heroes or role models are probably lying and evil. According to Variety, sexual misconduct accusations against astrophysicist and beloved TV science bae Neil deGrasse Tyson are being investigated by Fox and the producers of Neil’s show Cosmos.
Two women have reportedly come forward to say that when Tyson isn’t shutting down idiots who think the earth is flat, he’s acting like a creep.
In a report on the science website Patheos, one Dr. Katelyn N. Allers of Bucknell University claimed that Neil, who has been married since 1988, “felt her up” during an after-party for an event at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in 2009.
In the pictures from the report, Neil can be seen examining the tattoo of the solar system on her arm. In the caption, Dr. Allers claimed that it was shortly after the pics were taken that Tyson “looked for Pluto” in her dress. Ew, science harassment is as creepy as any other kind. Dr. Allers described it as “creepy behavior.”
In addition, a former assistant of Tyson’s has publicly accused him of sexual harassment, too. Ashley Watson worked as Neil’s assistant for several months, but claims that she had to quit because of unwanted sexual advances from him.
Watson worked directly with Tyson for several months. She says that, during that time, he put her in an uncomfortable situation by attempting to persuade her into sex, and demonstrated his “predatory tendencies.”
She related a story about Tyson pressuring her to come to his apartment for a glass of wine after work one day. And said that he was walking around in a tank top undershirt, and then slicing up cheese for a snack while making jokes about stabbing her. “Ok, well, thanks, Neil. I’ll show myself out now.” – everyone in the world at that point.
Neil then allegedly started talking about sexual release, and supposedly asked her if she needed one. “Um, nope, gotta go.” – anyone in the world who would have still been hanging out after the cheese stabbing bit.
Ashley Watson said that she quit shortly after Tyson told her at work the next day that she’d never advance because she was too “distracting.”
Musician Tchiya Amet has also claimed that Tyson drugged and raped her in 1984 when she was a grad student at the University of Texas at Austin. You can read her account here.
Cosmos released a statement worded in exactly the way you would imagine a TV science show would word a statement.
“The credo at the heart of ‘Cosmos’ is to follow the evidence wherever it leads,” the producers said in a joint statement. “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 also chimed in.
“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.”
Neil’s buddy Bill Nye is still a trustworthy sort of popular tv genius, right? No one’s heard anything bad about him? He pays his taxes, is nice to his pets, and respects women, right? Please say yes.