Chris Hardwick's return to Talking Dead has resulted in the resignation of a notable amount of employees, while at least one Nerdist writer quit after the website restored mentions of Hardwick's name. Hardwick was temporarily suspended from both outlets in June, after allegations of long-term abuse from former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra surfaced.
Dykstra claimed that Hardwick was abusive emotionally and sexually, and also accused him of hurting her career. After an investigation by AMC, Hardwick was reinstated and cleared of any wrongdoing, at least by his employer. Dykstra did not participate in the investigation, as she felt that it would be better for her to just try and move on. However, Hardwick's reinstatement has ruffled some feathers, with many still fully believing Dykstra, and feeling that AMC failed to properly hold Hardwick accountable.
According to The Wrap, one female executive producer quit Talking Dead following Hardwick's reinstatement as host, along with a handful of other staffers. That's significant, as the show only employs about 25 full-time people. In a separate move, Nerdist opted to restore material on its website alluding to Hardwick's role as a site founder, one assumes possibly in response to AMC's decision to bring him back. This caused Nerdist writer Donna Dickens to post the following tweet, announcing her departure from the site:
Some personal news: @nerdist has decided to put Hardwick's name back on their site so I've decided not to write for them anymore.— Donna Dickens (@MildlyAmused) August 10, 2018
Hardwick reportedly gathered Talking Dead's employees for an emotional meeting this past Wednesday, in which he acted apologetic for all of the recent turmoil. Hardwick is also said to have invited individual employees to one-on-one meetings in which he would personally address their concerns. Evidently this attempt at an olive branch was received poorly by those who decided to quit the show. If they believe him to be guilty of what Dykstra alleged, it's not hard to understand why they're not willing to bend.
On the other hand, Hardwick still boasts lots of fans that have stuck by him as this situation unfolded, and has been shown public support by his wife, other members of his family, and some of his show business collaborators. While nobody knows the full totality of what happened in the Hardwick/Dyktra relationship outside of the two parties involved, their accounts obviously differ greatly, and people will continue to choose which side they find credible enough to believe. Such is the court of public opinion. In the meantime, Hardwick's continued presence in Hollywood will likely continue to draw ire from many.
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