AMC pulls Chris Hardwick's 'Talking' amid sexual assault allegations
Chris Hardwick will no longer moderate AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con next month.
AMC announced the news in an official statement issued on Saturday in response to the allegations of sexual assault and emotional abuse against Hardwick that surfaced yesterday. The statement also confirmed that the second season of Talking With Chris Hardwick, which was set to premiere this Sunday night with guest Donald Glover, would be pulled from broadcast as the situation continues to unfold.
“We have had a positive working relationship with Chris Hardwick for many years,” reads the statement. “We take the troubling allegations that surfaced yesterday very seriously. While we assess the situation, ‘Talking with Chris Hardwick’ will not air on AMC, and Chris has decided to step aside from moderating planned AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego next month.”
Hardwick had been set to moderate the Doctor Who panel at this year’s SDCC, as well as to moderate the Hall H return of The Walking Dead.
NBC also released a statement on Saturday, saying the network was assessing its relationship with Hardwick, who hosts the game show The Wall: “These allegations about Chris Hardwick took us by surprise as we have had a positive working relationship with him. However, we take allegations of misconduct very seriously. Production on The Wall does not begin until September, and in the meantime we are continuing to assess the situation and will take appropriate action based on the outcome.”
Backlash against the Nerdist co-founder has been swift since a Medium essay titled “Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession,” written by his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, was posted Thursday. In the heartbreaking and disturbing piece, she details the repeated abuse she suffered at the hands of an unnamed ex-boyfriend, many of whom believe to be Hardwick.
The piece describes a boyfriend more than a decade older than Dykstra and who went “from a mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company.” (Nerdist first found life as a podcast, with Hardwick eventually rising to CEO of Nerdist Industries.) During the relationship, she describes a partner who intensely restricted her drinking, actions in public, and sexual autonomy.
After their breakup in 2014, Dykstra alleges this ex and another friend worked to blacklist her from the industry, making it difficult for the actress and cosplayer to find work even as she recovered from the abuse.
Hardwick denied the allegations in a widely criticized statement that focused on infidelity on Dykstra’s part at the end of the relationship and added, “I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women.”
In response to the allegations, Nerdist’s parent company Legendary quickly removed all mention of Hardwick from its website. “Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017,” Legendary said in a statement after scrubbing Hardwick’s name from the site he started. “He no longer has any affiliation with Legendary Digital Networks. The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original Founder of Nerdist pending further investigation.”
In addition to being dropped from a gig at the upcoming Kaaboo Festival, other projects involving the popular host may be affected in the coming days; Hardwick signed a three-picture deal with Blumhouse last year, the future of which has yet to be announced.
Though Dykstra has not confirmed that she was writing about Hardwick, the actress did acknowledge the groundswell of support for her that followed the Medium post.
And Robert Kazinsky, known for his role in Warcraft, publicly supported Dykstra’s claims on Twitter, slamming Hardwick for his denial and stating that he has “seen the proof” himself.