Chris Hardwick is returning to AMC's program Talking Dead following their investigation. Just over a month ago, Hardwick was accused by his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra of emotional abuse and sexual assault. After the claim was made, Hardwick's future immediately was thrown into question. It didn't take long for Nerdist, a website he founded but since moved on from, to scrub any mention of him from their site. But, it was AMC who was put under the most pressure.
Hardwick hosts the official after show for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead and AMC halted production on Talking with Chris Hardwick the day after these accusations were made. He has largely remained out of the public eye ever since, but his return is officially happening.
AMC announced that Chris Hardwick will return to Talking Dead in just a few weeks. This decision comes after an internal investigation. The official statement from AMC, shared by THR, and concludes with the announcement of his return. Hardwick will make his return for the mid-season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead on August 12th.
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.
The decision from AMC to bring back Hardwick isn't going to go over without any backlash. The response to the initial allegations brought out Hardwick's critics but also defenders. For his part, Hardwick emphatically denied these accusations and even went on the attack a bit. His wife Lydia Hearst stood by him, as did several of his previous exes. Even Blindspot star Jamie Alexander sided with her longtime friend to offer support. Now, it is AMC that is siding with Hardwick due to the information they gathered.
Talking Dead was ready to be taken over by Yvette Nicole Brown, and she'll still serve that role for The Walking Dead's season nine preview due to production already being underway. That special will air on August 5th without Hardwick, before he becomes the host again the following week. Nicole Brown will be a guest on his first episode back too. Hardwick will go on to host Talking Dead throughout the remaining episodes of Fear the Walking Dead's fourth season and the entirety of season 9 of The Walking Dead. Unless new information arises, AMC will be standing by Hardwick.
Source: AMC [via THR]