After being cleared in an internal investigation into accusations by his ex-girlfriend of emotional, physical and sexual abuse, Chris Hardwick will return Aug. 12 as host of AMC’s Talking Dead.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Yvette Nicole Brown will host a Walking Dead Season 9 preview special on Aug. 5, and then return the following week as a guest for the premiere of Talking Dead, the cable network’s live after-show for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. A regular guest on Talking Dead, Brown replaced Hardwick as moderator of the Walking Dead panel last week at Comic-Con International. Before the completion of AMC’s investigation, Brown had been named interim host of Talking Dead.
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“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,” AMC 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.”
Hardwick was accused of abuse last month by ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. Although Dykstra didn’t name her ex in her essay on Medium.com, referring to him only as someone who grew from “a mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company, many outlets and industry watchers immediately picked up on his identity. Hardwick, who co-founded Nerdist Industries in 2012, subsequently confirmed Dykstra was referring to him with the release of a denial of her allegations.
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Legendary Entertainment, which acquired Nerdist, swiftly removed any reference to Hardwick from its website pending “further investigation.” AMC followed by removing him as moderator of its Comic-Con programming, and pulling the season premiere of Talking with Chris Hardwick from its schedule.