Catfish, a reality TV show about the uncertainties of online dating, has been suspended by MTV for an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct. According to The Daily Beast, the show's host and executive producer, Nev Schulman, is a central figure in the sexual harassment investigation.
The allegations against Schulman stem from Ayissha Morgan, who was the subject of a Catfish episode back in 2015. She went public with the assault claims in two YouTube videos posted on Saturday, May 12 and Monday, May 14.
In them, Morgan accuses Schulman of making continued sexual advances during production despite her many refusals. She also claims a producer assaulted her.
Morgan uses pseudonyms for everyone involved in the story, presumably referring to Schulman as "Jack," and show co-host Max Joseph as "John."
In the video she says on one occasion at the airport, Schulman kept refuting that Morgan was a lesbian, suggesting that she just hadn't "met the right guy yet." He then allegedly told her, "I have a big dick. I would tear your ass up." Morgan says she told him she was uncomfortable, but no one else was around to witness the harassment.
Later, when they arrived at the hotel, Morgan says she continued to refuse Schulman's advances when they were in his room alone together. He left when she told him to go, but then sent her flirtatious Instagram messages she claims to have taken screenshots of.
In the most emotional part of Morgan's video, she describes how a production assistant she names "Carol" took advantage of her while the two were alone and intoxicated in Carol's room. Morgan alleges she was so drunk she kept "coming in and out of consciousness," but awoke to find Carol on top of her.
Morgan did not wish to go into detail about the exact nature of that assault. But she continued her account of the next day, when members of the production team were boasting about Carol "getting ass." Later, Schulman allegedly approached Morgan once again, suggesting they do what she did with Carol. He then grabbed her arm, but she left the room immediately.
An MTV spokesperson provided a statement to Mashable, saying, "We take these allegations very seriously. We’re working with Critical Content, our third party production company, to conduct a thorough investigation, and we’ve put a pause on shooting until the investigation is completed."
Schulman denies all the claims, sending The Daily Beast a statement through his publicist:
The behavior described in this video did not happen and I'm fortunate that there are a number of former colleagues who were present during this time period who are willing to speak up with the truth... I have always been transparent about my life and would always take responsibility for my actions—but these claims are false.
In Morgan's video, she says she cried over the alleged assault for three years. But she was done doing that because she's "past the sadness and now I'm angry."