Back in May 2018, a former Catfish contestant named Ayissha Morgan alleged Nev Schulman, the host of the MTV show, sexually harassed her throughout filming. After the allegations came to light, the network halted production of the show. However, following an independent investigation, MTV has found her allegations "not credible" and is resuming the series.
"The independent investigator found the allegations made in the YouTube videos to be not credible and without merit," MTV wrote in a statement. "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."
Morgan documented her claims in a series of YouTube videos. She alleged that Schulman persistently harassed her, pressured her into going out with him despite her homosexuality, and told her "I have a big d**k. I would tear your a** up." Furthermore, she said he went to her hotel room and asked to cuddle, though she repeatedly declined his advances. She also said a female staffer named "Carol" went to her room, gave her alcohol, and assaulted her. The next day, she claimed, Schulman went to Morgan's room again, grabbed her arm, and asked her, "How about you do what you did to Carol, but on me?" This is just a sampling of Morgan's allegations against Schulman.
According to MTV's independent investigation, there's no proof to corroborate Morgan's story. However, in the #MeToo era, it's heartening that a corporation like MTV would halt production on a show and actually investigate a woman's claims. The fact that women are being heard and the legal system is doing its job is fantastic, because there's still so much work to do. According to The Guardian, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) dismisses 52 percent of all workplace harassment claims. To be clear, this doesn't mean 52 percent of women lie about their abuse. When it comes to harassment suits submitted to the court system (and not handled privately, as in Morgan's case), only three to six percent of cases ever make it to trial because judges don't think the allegations are "bad enough." So, when networks like MTV take women's claims seriously, progress is made — whether we like the outcome or not.
If there's one thing Morgan's case proves, it's that sexual abuse allegations are being treated more seriously. But as for the institutions and courts that conduct these investigations, we have a long way to go. No woman should have to prove her harassment is "worthy enough." Also, a bit more transparency into the investigation process (much like the public court of law) would be a huge improvement.