Talk-show host Chris Hardwick, who has been widely accepted as the unnamed man described in a June 14 Medium post by Chloe Dykstra alleging emotional and sexual abuse by an ex, will return to work at AMC. Hardwick is the face of Talking Dead, a live aftershow that discusses episodes of The Walking Dead and its prequel Fear the Walking Dead, as well as Talking With Chris Hardwick, a general pop culture talk show.
AMC says it conducted a “comprehensive assessment” with an outside law firm that included interviews with “numerous” individuals before making its decision. “We believe returning Chris to work is the appropriate step,” said the network, in a statement that did not directly address or even explicitly mention Dykstra’s accusations. Hardwick, for his part, responded soon after Dykstra’s post that he was “devastated” and “blindsided” by her depiction of their relationship and denied her allegation of sexual assault.
Hardwick is also the host of the NBC game show The Wall; the broadcast network has yet to announce whether he will stay on. But Hardwick’s reinstatement at AMC may indicate that #MeToo oustings are more likely to take place if there are multiple accusers and if the alleged infractions happened in professional, rather than domestic, settings.
The next season of Talking Dead begins August 12, following the season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead. AMC’s statement is below:
Following a comprehensive assessment by AMC, working with Ivy Kagan Bierman of the firm Loeb & Loeb, who has considerable experience in this area, Chris Hardwick will return to AMC as the host of Talking Dead and Talking with Chris Hardwick. 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.