Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, promoting a new book and returning full-force to the talk show circuit following last year’s allegations of sexual harassment, seems to have learned one lesson very well: Repeating the same response on ABC’s The View, CBS This Morning and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Tyson says he’s come to appreciate support from family, friends and fans more than ever.
Judging from how often he repeats the response, it’s a lesson that stuck.
In the appearances this morning and last night, Tyson and his various hosts seem to have agreed to dive into the elephant-in-the-room controversy before getting to the book promotion stuff. The scientist spoke only in general, non-specific terms that satisfied the hosts even if not some of the shows’ Twitter followers (see some responses below).
On all three shows, Tyson said, with little variation in wording, that the experience taught him to, as he told CBS’ Gayle King, “care about the support I’ve received, from friends, family, a fan base…” Tyson then pivoted to “the fans who shared their letters” (about other subjects) included in his new book Letters from an Astrophysicist.
Last year, Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, was accused by two women of making unwanted sexual advances (a third, more serious accusation made several years earlier then resurfaced). Following investigations that apparently exonerated him (details weren’t made public), Tyson returned to his several jobs, including at the museum, and as host of the Fox and NatGeo series Cosmos and Star Talk.
“You’ve been cleared on everything,” said The View‘s Whoopi Goldberg (she’d earlier noted that she and Tyson are personal friends).
Asked by King whether he was surprised by the allegations, Tyson said, “Life is, day to day, you don’t know what’s going to happen or who’s going to say anything about anything. What I do know is I learned to care about the support that I’ve received from friends, family, a fan base that was there throughout the entire time…”
Tyson also told King that he understood the public’s “urge” to “take sides, to have opinions, even in the absence of information or only partial information.” He seemed to attribute at least a portion of the allegations on his “spillage of personality” and added that his “concept of personal space” has evolved.
The response mirrored Tyson’s conversation with Colbert, which drew twitter responses both pro and con, each side neatly summed up in the following exchange:
Check out Tyson’s CBS This Morning appearance above, and his Colbert visit below.