Chris Hardwick will be back on AMC despite abuse allegations
Chris Hardwick will be back on TV as the host of AMC’s Walking Dead-themed talkshow Talking Dead following allegations that he abused ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. According to AMC, Hardwick, who had been suspended after the allegations, has been reinstated following a “comprehensive assessment” by the network and an outside consultant.
“We take these matters very seriously and given the information available to us after a very careful review, including interviews with numerous individuals, we believe returning Chris to work is the appropriate step,” the network said in a statement, according to Variety.
In June, Dykstra published an account on Medium alleging that an ex-boyfriend had abused her during their relationship, including sexually assaulting her, emotionally abusing her and setting controlling “rules” for her that dictated her life and friendships. While Dykstra didn’t name Hardwick explicitly in the post, her details about the ex, including his age and career — “he grew from a mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company” — indicated that it was Hardwick.
Hardwick, who founded Nerdist Industries, the network of digital properties that includes the website Nerdist, has also worked as a comedian and a host of various programs. In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter in June, Hardwick denied Dykstra’s allegations of abuse, saying, “Our three-year relationship was not perfect — we were ultimately not a good match and argued — even shouted at each other — but I loved her, and did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her.”
Still, the response to the allegations was swift — Nerdist posted a statement on Twitter distancing itself from Hardwick, who is no longer involved with the website.
And, in addition to suspending Hardwick from his role on Talking Dead, AMC pulled its plans to debut a new season of Talking with Chris Hardwick, another show hosted by Hardwick, Variety reported. Actress Yvette Nicole Brown filled in for Hardwick as a host of Talking Dead, and appeared on Comic-Con panels for the show that have, in the past, been moderated by Hardwick.
But now AMC has announced that Hardwick will return as the host of Talking Dead, starting Aug. 12. Brown will continue to appear on the show in a guest role. AMC did not say whether it will set a new premiere date for the upcoming season of Hardwick’s talk show, Talking with Chris Hardwick.