Chris Hardwick will return to the Talking Dead following AMC investigation over sexual assault claims


Chris Hardwick is set to return to Talking Dead this August, following AMC’s investigation into sexual assault claims.

AMC is taking back Chris Hardwick, after all.

Hardwick will return as host of Talking Dead this August, following an internal investigation into sexual assault allegations by actress and ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra.

AMC released the following statement regarding their decision:

"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."

In an essay posted to Medium on June 14, Dykstra’s alleged sexual assault and emotional abuse during a relationship with an unnamed man, whom many believed to be Hardwick. Details that helped connect the dots included the Heroes of Cosplay actress saying the man in question was a “mildly successful podcaster” who eventually became “a powerhouse CEO of his own company” and was 20 years older than her.

When Hardwick came under fire for the allegations, he denied the claims, releasing a statement saying he was “heartbroken” when he read the post, adding that his three-year relationship with Dykstra “was not perfect.” He stated that “in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her.” Along with his denial, Hardwick detailed the reason for their split, discussing how Dykstra had cheated on him, he was the one to end things, and despite her trying to get back with him, he did not want to “be with someone who was unfaithful.” Hardwick’s wife Lydia Hearst, an actress and model, also defended her husband with a statement.

Removal of Hardwick from nearly every media project he was on was swift. He was taken off of AMC’s Talking Dead, removed from his San Diego Comic-Con panels, and was scrubbed clean from Nerdist’s website.

Community star and recurring Talking Dead guest Yvette Nicole Brown took over Hardwick’s panels at San Diego Comic-Con. She’ll host The Walking Dead‘s season 9 preview special Talking Dead for its August 12 premiere.

Hardwick’s other major hosting gig, the reality competition series The Wall on NBC, could still be up in the air. As of now, the network hasn’t taken action following Dykstra’s allegations except “to assess the situation” and “take appropriate action based on the outcome.”