MTV Resumes Filming 'Catfish' After Finding Sexual Harassment Claims 'Not Credible'
Production on MTV's popular show, Catflish, was halted in May after news broke that its series' co-creator and star — Nev Shulman — was accused of sexual harassment.
In late June, MTV has resumed filming of reality TV show after the network said it performed a thorough investigation and found the accusations "not credible and without merit."
"Although we never received a formal complaint, MTV and Critical Content immediately engaged an independent third party investigator," MTV said in a statement to Deadline. "The independent investigator found the allegations made in the YouTube videos to be not credible and without merit."
"Given the results of the investigation, Catfish will resume filming. We take these matters very seriously and are committed to providing a safe working environment," the statement concluded.
Shulman took to social media to thank his fans who supported him throughout this incident:
Catfish: The TV Show premiered in 2012 and is currently in its seventh season.
MTV announced production on its reality TV series Catfish has been suspended following sexual harassment accusations made against the show's co-host and executive producer Nev Schulman.
"We take these allegations very seriously," an MTV rep said in a statement. "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."
The decision comes after a video was posted on YouTube on May 12 by Ayissha Morgan, who appeared on Catfish in 2015, alleging she was sexually harassed by Schulman while on set. She claims she was asked about her sexual orientation, was spoken to in a sexually charged manner, and propositioned by Schulman in his hotel room.
The women claim the incidents happened in the '90s.
Schulman has released a statement denying these allegations: "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."
Schulman has been co-hosting Catfish since 2012 with his filmmaking partner, Max Joseph, after the success of their 2010 documentary. The show follows the duo as they help individuals find the truth after they've been fooled by people on the Internet who are not who they claim to be.
As Schulman's behavior on the show is being called into question, additional unsavory details about other actions from his past are coming to light. According to Vulture, a woman is claiming she was assaulted by Schulman in 2006 while at Sarah Lawrence College.
He reportedly punched her in the face after she asked him to stop taking photos of gay couples who were "dancing and kissing" and not aware of the camera.
"I confronted him, and asked him to stop taking pictures," the woman said. "I tapped his shoulder and he turned and hit me out of nowhere, I went down and he held me in a headlock and repeatedly punched me while I tried to get free.
"The impact broke my glasses and the rest of the night was a blur. I got off the floor, talked to police, then went home to sleep. When I woke up the next day, my face was bruised, I was hurt, and a friend urged me to go to the hospital, which I did."
The jury took 14 hours to deliberate.
Schulman was expelled from the college, and he wrote about the incident in his 2014 memoir In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age.
He wrote: "While I was photographing, an individual who didn’t like that I was taking pictures attempted to tackle me and smash my camera on the ground. Since the camera was attached to a strap around my neck, I found myself in a very unpleasant situation, much like a dog with a choke collar.
"In an effort to free myself, I punched the person and ran off; when I returned minutes later, I discovered that the short, stocky, crew-cut-styled individual that I’d fought with was a woman — a fact I hadn’t been aware of in the heat of the moment.
"The next thing I knew, I’d been arrested. The case was dismissed almost immediately, but Sarah Lawrence took the opportunity to toss me out once and for all."
The producer is known for his controversial show topics.