Brow Beat

MTV Halts Production of Catfish to Investigate Sexual Misconduct Claims Against Host Nev Schulman

Nev Schulman poses with fans at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California.
Nev Schulman poses with fans at the 2017 VMAs.
Rich Fury / Getty Images

MTV personality Nev Schulman has been accused of sexual misconduct, according to a report from The Daily Beast published on Thursday. Schulman rose to prominence as the protagonist of the 2010 documentary Catfish, in which he discovered he had been engaging in an online romantic relationship with a woman who in real life was not who she claimed to be. The documentary helped coin the term “catfishing” to describe such duplicitous internet behavior, and spawned a spin-off reality TV show on MTV in 2012. In the show, Schulman and co-host Max Joseph investigate claims of catfishing in internet-based relationships.

The accusations come from a woman, Ayissha Morgan, who appeared on Catfish in 2015 and in two separate videos released earlier this month, described her experience filming the show. Using the pseudonym of “Jack” to describe the co-host, Morgan, a lesbian, alleged he aggressively pursued her and encouraged her to “reevaluate” her sexuality. She also claimed one of his female production assistants took advantage of her while drunk. Now, as the show gears up for its eighth season, MTV has temporarily halted production to address the allegations against its co-host. A spokesperson for the network told the Daily Beast: “We take these allegations very seriously. We’re working with Critical Content, our third party production company, to conduct a thorough investigation.” Schulman denied the allegations made in Morgan’s videos via his publicist in a statement to the Daily Beast:

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.