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Neil deGrasse Tyson's 'StarTalk' Goes on Hiatus Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations: Report

Neil deGrasse Tyson startalk
National Geographic Channel has put "StarTalk" on hiatus after host Neil deGrasse Tyson was accused of multiple counts of sexual misconduct. (Image credit: Scott Gries/National Geographic Channels)

After multiple sexual misconduct allegations against famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson arose, National Geographic Channel has put his interview-based show "StarTalk" on hiatus, according to a report from Variety Jan. 3. The show will remain off the air as Fox Networks Group, which produces and distributes content for the National Geographic Channel, investigates the claims against Tyson, Variety reported yesterday (Jan 3). Additionally, Tyson has canceled several live talks that he'd planned to give in January.

Only three episodes of "StarTalk's" fifth season ran this past November before the show was initially suspended following the allegations. While the series was originally scheduled to run for 20 episodes, it has not been on the air since Nov. 26, 2018. Now, the decision has been made to keep the show off the air until the network's investigation reaches a conclusion. 

"In order to allow the investigation to occur unimpeded, we chose to hold new episodes of 'Star Talk' until it [the investigation] is complete. We expect that to happen in the next few weeks, at which time we'll make a final decision," a Nat Geo representative said to Variety.

The allegations against Tyson stem all the way back to 1984, when he was accused of rape by a fellow student, Tchiya Amet, while the two studied at the University of Texas at Austin. In November of last year, allegations about that incident as well as more-recent misconduct were published on the website Patheos. In these most recent allegations, Tyson was accused of inappropriate behavior toward Katelyn Allers, a Bucknell University professor, and Ashley Watson, who was Tyson's production assistant at the time of the alleged misconduct. 

Tyson has so far denied the accusations against him and welcomed an investigation. He addressed the matter publicly in a Facebook post entitled, "On Being Accused," which he posted Dec 1. 

After the allegations appeared, Fox and National Geographic 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."

"StarTalk" producers added in last month's statement that they "are committed to a thorough investigation of this matter and to act accordingly as soon as it is concluded."

You can read the full story at Variety.

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Chelsea Gohd

Chelsea Gohd joined as an intern in the summer of 2018 and returned as a Staff Writer in 2019. After receiving a B.S. in Public Health, she worked as a science communicator at the American Museum of Natural History and even wrote an installation for the museum's permanent Hall of Meteorites. Chelsea has written for publications including Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine, Live Science, All That is Interesting, AMNH Microbe Mondays blog, The Daily Targum and Roaring Earth. When not writing, reading or following the latest space and science discoveries, Chelsea is writing music and performing as her alter ego Foxanne (@foxannemusic). You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd.