Nerdist founder and ‘Talking Dead’ host and producer Chris Hardwick is the latest Hollywood male to face accusations of sexual and emotional abuse and the reaction has been swift. Hardwick’s ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra posted an essay in which she detailed rather damning details about her three-year relationship she with a man 20 years her senior, who started out as a podcast host and eventually became the CEO of his own company. She did not name Hardwick or Nerdist, but the evidence is pretty clear. The essay chronicled the extreme rules that her boyfriend imposed on her, which led to anorexia and a life-threatening health issue, to which the man barely reacted.
Nerdist has issued a response indicating that Hardwick hadn’t had anything to do with the day-to-day operations of the company for two years prior to the expiration of his contract in December 2017. They also removed all references to him from their website.
“Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017. 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.”
This is the entire statement via Twitter:
— Nerdist (@nerdist) June 15, 2018
Even though Dykstra didn’t name Hardwick or Nerdist, she followed up her essay with a disclaimer stating that “I do want to address something re: the company he founded. As I understand it, the person has not been associated with that company for several years, and I hope that they will not suffer as a result of my essay. Be kind to them, they are good people.”
Elsewhere, fans are calling for Hardwick to be removed as the host of the popular recap/chat show ‘Talking Dead’ that airs after AMC’s hit ‘The Walking Dead’. These fans have suggested super-fan Yvette Nicole Brown, who is a frequent guest on the show, to replace him. Brown is best known as a sitcom star (‘Community’, ‘The Mayor’) and voice actor and she served as the host of Syfy’s competition show ‘Cosplay Melee’.
If you want to read Dykstra’s entire essay, it can be found here. Be warned, it is quite in-depth, disturbing, and will taint your view of Hardwick, who has endeared himself with his self-deprecating, goofy persona. Among Dykstra’s claims are that almost immediately after they began dating, he forbid her from going out at night, from having close male friends or even having pictures of other men in her apartment, and from speaking at all in public without his permission. She also recounts a trip to San Diego Comic-Con during which she was not allowed to leave their hotel room while he went to parties and even got the phone number of a famous actress that he planned to start seeing while he was still with Dykstra.
All of that pales in comparison to the extreme health issue she developed later, including extreme anorexia which led to a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy. Once again, it’s quite disturbing but definitely worth the read.
AMC has not issued a statement, nor has Hardwick, who is expected to appear on this Sunday’s episode of ‘Talking Dead’ following the second episode of ‘Fear the Walking Dead’‘s latest season. He has been married to Lydia Hearst since 2016.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter