‘Talking Dead’ Star Is Back And Not Everyone is Happy
12 Aug, 2018
Chris Hardwick isn’t getting a warm welcome back to work.
Staffers at his show “Talking Dead” are quitting in protest over Hardwick’s Sunday return — two months after an ex-girlfriend accused him of mistreating her.
A female executive producer and a “handful” of the show’s staff of approximately 25 have fled since AMC announced Hardwick would resume his role as host of the “Walking Dead” after show, according to a new report.
The “Talking Dead” fallout comes days after Hardwick’s first TV appearance — on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” — since actress Chloe Dykstra penned an essay in June accusing him of sexual and emotional abuse.
Hardwick is reportedly working to regain the support of the remaining “Talking” staffers.
In a “very emotional” staff meeting called by Hardwick on Wednesday, according to sources cited by The Wrap, the comedian apologized for the ordeal. He also offered one-on-one meetings for any crew members with concerns.
The cable host faced swift backlash after Dykstra published her essay on the blog, Medium. Less than 72 hours after the first-person piece hit the Internet, AMC suspended ”Talking Dead” — the day before its season debut. And Legendary Entertainment scrubbed all mention of Hardwick from the Nerdist website he founded.
Hardwick also agreed to step away from upcoming moderator gigs at Comic-Con and from his various roles at AMC and NBC, while the networks conducted internal investigations.
Dykstra alleged in her essay that she was prohibited from having male friends, drinking alcohol or speaking when the two were out in public during their three-year relationship. She also alleged she “let him sexually assault [her].”
Dykstra did not name Hardwick, but he effectively outted himself when he denied the allegations.
The 29-year-old actress defended her essay this week as Hardwick stepped back into the spotlight.
“I 100% stand by every single word of my essay. I made sure it was unembellished, factual, and that I had evidence to back it up in order to protect myself in case of ACTUAL litigation (not a network investigation, where I’m not protected.)” Dykstra tweeted.
AMC announced on July 25 that it was reinstating Hardwick following a “careful review” of the allegations.
“We take these matters very seriously and given the information available to us … we believe returning Chris to work is the appropriate step,” the network said in a statement.
NBC confirmed a week later it would bring the 46-year-old comedian back to the judge’s panel of “America’s Got Talent.”
Nerdist restored his name to the website sometime last week.
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