This post, originally published on June 18, has been updated.
Chris Hardwick will return as host of AMC’s “Talking Dead” and “Talking With Chris Hardwick” following an internal investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him, the network said in a statement.
Actress and model Chloe Dykstra said in a Medium post published on June 14 that she had been emotionally abused and sexually assaulted by a former long-term boyfriend. Dykstra did not name her alleged abuser, but the alleged three-year timeline and other details in the essay, which went viral, led people to speculate that it was the “Talking” host. Dykstra and Hardwick broke up in 2014.
In her post, Dykstra describes controlling behavior by her former partner, and says that she was “regularly” sexually assaulted. In a statement the following day, Hardwick said he was “blindsided” by the allegations and strongly denied Dykstra’s account.
AMC said last month that it was pulling “Talking With Chris Hardwick” from its schedule and that the network would “assess the situation.” Hardwick was also removed as moderator of several panels at Comic Con International. On Thursday, the network announced that Hardwick would resume hosting “Talking Dead” when the aftershow series returns on Aug. 12.
“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,'” the network said in a statement. “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.”
“Talking With Chris Hardwick” began as part of AMC’s after-show franchise, with Hardwick interviewing cast members and fans of popular shows including “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.” Last year, the network announced that Hardwick would host a broader, one-hour talk show. “Talking” was scheduled to begin its second season on June 17 with Donald Glover as the guest. Instead, AMC showed a previously aired episode of “Ride With Norman Reedus.”
Hardwick also hosts NBC’s popular game show “The Wall,” which ended its second season earlier this year, and has been renewed for a third, with production slated to begin in September. In a statement last month, NBC said it was “assessing the situation” and would “take appropriate action based on the outcome.” The network has not yet commented on whether an investigation has been completed.
Following the allegations, Hardwick’s name was removed from Nerdist.com, the website of the digital empire he founded in 2012. In a statement posted to Twitter, the site provided crisis resource information for victims of sexual assault and abuse.
The post also included a statement from Nerdist’s parent company, Legendary, which said that Hardwick has “had no operational involvement” with Nerdist for the past couple ofyears and that “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 statement said.