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Season 2 of the popular series Cosmos will be reportedly be delayed. Last November, host and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was accused by two women of sexual misconduct, prompting Fox and National Geographic to investigate the claims. Over the years, deGrasse Tyson has used Twitter to debunk or support science fiction movie plot points, thus gaining a younger fanbase that followed him to network television.
In 2014, Fox premiered Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a science documentary series that functions as a follow-up to Carl Sagan’s 1980 series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Over 13 episodes, deGrasse Tyson utilizes a conversational approach to chronicle intergalactic mysteries, with computer-generated graphics complementing his well-informed commentary. While the updated Cosmos received critical acclaim and 12 Emmy nominations, Christian groups criticized the program for its portrayal of Catholicism. One year ago, a new season was announced, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which was scheduled to premiere next month on Fox and National Geographic.
Per Deadline, Fox and National Geographic are reportedly delaying the new Cosmos season because of an ongoing investigation into deGrasse Tyson’s alleged misconduct. In a statement from last November, the Cosmos producers connected the series premise to their behind the scenes approach: “The credo at the heart of Cosmos is to follow the evidence wherever it leads.”
When the initial accusations emerged against deGrasse Tyson, it was reported that he grabbed a woman at a 2009 party in order to look at her solar system tattoo. Another woman claimed that she was forced to quit her job after repeated sexual advances from the Cosmos host. Last December, deGrasse Tyson offered an official statement on his Facebook page, in which he addresses both allegations. He also describes other relationships over the years, and how his pop culture visibility can lead to a misinterpretation of facts. The statement concludes with a brief overview in which deGrasse Tyson writes, "I’m the accused, so why believe anything I say? Why believe me at all?"
DeGrasse Tyson became a household name as the Cosmos’ host, but he’s long been in the spotlight for his professional work. Currently 60-years-old, deGrasse Tyson studied at Harvard University and the University of Texas before earning a PhD from Columbia University. From 2006 to 2011, he hosted the PBS series Nova ScienceNow, of which was described by the original host Robert Krulwich as an examination of “breaking science, science that's right out of the lab, science that sometimes bumps up against politics, art, culture." In 2015, deGrasse Tyson was awarded the Public Welfare Medal for his "extraordinary role in exciting the public about the wonders of science.”
Before Cosmos returns, Fox will have to decide whether the claims against deGrasse Tyson require a more extensive investigation and/or legal action.