Chris Hardwick's presence is wiped from the Nerdist website amid allegations of abuse and sexual assault detailed by Chloe Dykstra. Hardwick has made a name for himself as a geek entertainment personality, hosting a number of TV shows, including The Walking Dead after show Talking Dead and Talking with Chris Hardwick on AMC, and the now-concluded @midnight on Comedy Central. He also has a big presence at Comic-Con International in San Diego each year, where he moderates panels for various pop culture properties. Currently, he's scheduled to host BBC America's Doctor Who panel at SDCC 2018.
In addition, Hardwick founded The Nerdist Podcast in 2010, but it expanded to include a podcast network, then a YouTube channel and news division, before being acquired by Legendary Entertainment in 2012. The Nerdist Podcast rebranded in 2018 to become ID10T with Chris Hardwick following Hardwick's contract with Legendary expiring in 2017. Despite parting with Legendary, Hardwick was still credited as Nerdist's founder. However, in the wake of a Medium essay published by Dykstra, Hardwick's presence has been wiped from the Nerdist site.
In a Medium essay titled "Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession" published on June 14, Dykstra detailed the disturbing behavior of a former boyfriend whose name she doesn't disclose, though details in the piece have lead many to believe it refers to Hardwick. The alleged behavior outlined in the essay includes emotional abuse and sexual assault while in a relationship. Following the split between Dykstra and her ex, she claims he blacklisted her and made it difficult for the actress and cosplayer to find work. For Dykstra's full account, which contains potentially triggering language, read her essay on Medium.
In response to the allegations, Nerdist parent company Legendary wiped Hardwick's name from the website and released the following statement:
Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017. 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.
The Nerdist site has since released a statement of their own on Twitter, writing, "Like you, we were shocked to read the news this morning." The statement goes on to say, "Nerdist prides itself on being an inclusive company made up of a positive, diverse community of people who come together to share and discuss the things we love. That type of behavior is contrary to everything we stand for and believe in, and we absolutely don’t tolerate discrimination, harassment, and other forms of abuse."
EW reached out to a representative of Hardwick for a comment, but did not receive a response; the publication also reached out to AMC for comment, as Talking with Chris Hardwick returns this Sunday, June 17. As of this writing, BBC America has not responded to calls on Twitter for Hardwick to be replaced as the moderator for the Doctor Who panel at this year's SDCC. Further, it's unclear if any other projects will be affected, including the three-picture deal Hardwick signed with Blumhouse last year.
An anonymous entertainment lawyer, who goes by @entylawyer on Twitter, said of the allegations against Hardwick, "I have heard there are up to six other women with the same type story." As of now, no one has come forward and Dykstra has not confirmed that Hardwick is the man her essay is about. However, since posting the Medium essay, Dykstra has released a statement on Twitter in response to the reaction her piece has garnered. Read it below:
The allegations arrive in the midst of the #MeToo movement, which in Hollywood has included accusations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, James Franco, Bryan Singer, Jeffrey Tambor, Brett Ratner and more. Screen Rant will keep you up to date with further developments in this story.