Chris Hardwick’s name has been restored to the website he helped found, Nerdist. After his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra published a scathing essay in which she accused him of emotional abuse and sexual assault during their three-year relationship, the site removed any references to Hardwick. At the time, he had not been actively involved with Nerdist in well over a year.
On the site’s “About” page, it once again reads “Founded by Chris Hardwick in 2012, Nerdist is home to the Nerdist Podcast Network, Nerdist News and Nerdist Presents.” In an official statement, the site declared:
“Following an internal investigation conducted with the assistance of outside employment counsel into Mr. Hardwick’s conduct while employed at Nerdist, we have made the determination to restore the reference to Mr. Hardwick as a founder of Nerdist.”
Hardwick had also been placed on suspension from AMC, the network which airs ‘Talking Dead’ and was about to launch a separate chat show, ‘Talking with Chris Hardwick’. The latter was pulled from release and so far no word has been given as to when it might air, if it ever does. But after handing the hosting reigns over to Yvette Nicole Brown for ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 9 preview special, Hardwick was back to host the regular ‘Talking Dead’ show, following another investigation on the part of AMC. Dykstra, who did not name Hardwick in her essay, chose not to be involved with this investigation.
(The original allegations surfaced just before San Diego Comic-Con and Hardwick withdrew from participating. Brown subbed for him for the two ‘Walking Dead’ panels.)
Things are not completely rosy. Hardwick gathered ‘Talking Dead’ employees for an emotional, apologetic meeting and invited staff for one-on-one meetings to discuss concerns, but several staffers quit anyway, including a female executive producer.
One Nerdist writer, Donna Dickens, also shared on Twitter that she had quit following the site restoring his name to the site.
Some personal news: @nerdist has decided to put Hardwick’s name back on their site so I’ve decided not to write for them anymore.
— Donna Dickens (@MildlyAmused) August 10, 2018
The Hardwick/Dykstra situation boils down to he-said/she-said and the accusations that Dykstra leveled were horrific (and very specific). The results of AMC and Nerdist’s investigations are not public, but it is believed that they limited their scope to his work and if he has conducted himself appropriately at work, allegations regarding his personal life probably don’t pertain, thus his reinstatement. He has also been reinstated as the host of NBC’s game show ‘The Wall’.