Chris Hardwick is heading back to AMC to host Talking Dead. Hardwick was subject to sexual assault and abuse claims by his former girlfriend and actress Chloe Dykstra in June. Though Dykstra did not name Hardwick in her essay, it became clear that he was the subject of her lengthy and troubling allegations. AMC decided to remove him as host of Talking Dead following the allegations, in order to perform an investigation. Following the investigation, the network has decided to allow Hardwick to return. Here's what AMC had to say in a statement.
"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."
AMC has had a prosperous relationship with Chris Hardwick, who not only hosts the very popular after show for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, but also has his interview series Talking with Chris Hardwick. The new season was set to premiere in June but was delayed once Chloe Dykstra's allegations came to light. At the present time, it isn't clear when AMC will fit the new season of Talking back into their schedule.
Community star Yvette Nicole Brown, who has also guested on Talking Dead several times in the past, filled in for Chris Hardwick on AMC's Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic-Con. Hardwick was scheduled to moderate several panels at the event but canceled his plans in the wake of the allegations brought against him. Brown was set to be the interim host of Talking Dead. She will still be host of The Walking Dead season 9 preview special, which airs on August 5.
Following the allegations, Chris Hardwick denied the claims but acknowledged their severity in a statement. "I was heartbroken to read Chloe's post. 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," Hardwick said. He's since remained silent and, though his social media channels remain active, he hasn't posted anything since making his initial statement.
Nerdist, the company founded by Chris Hardwick, promptly removed him from his position within the company and scrubbed his name from the website once the allegations were made public. NBC has not yet announced whether or not they will have Chris Hardwick return as host of their game show The Wall this fall. On June 16 the network said that they were assessing the allegations made against Hardwick and have not yet made a decision. It's expected that Hardwick will be back as host of Talking Dead on August 12, following the mid-season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead season 4. This news comes to us courtesy of Deadline.