A day after allegations of emotional abuse and sexual assault were leveled against Chris Hardwick by an ex-girlfriend, AMC has decided today to officially pull the plug on their long time host’s talk show and appearances at San Diego Comic-Con next month.
“We have had a positive working relationship with Chris Hardwick for many years,” said the home of The Walking Dead in a statement on Saturday, one day before Season 2 of Talking With Chris Hardwick was set to debut. “We take the troubling allegations that surfaced yesterday very seriously. While we assess the situation, Talking with Chris Hardwick will not air on AMC, and Chris has decided to step aside from moderating planned AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego next month.”
Maintaining radio silence all day yesterday, the cabler had been under increasing pressure to address the premiere of Talking and its overall relationship in lieu of the disturbing claims that Chloe Dykstra made public online early on Friday. Additionally, as Legendary Entertainment quickly wiped all mention of Harwick from the Nerdist site he founded and once owned, AMC found itself up against Hollywood heavyweight Talking guests who wanted no association with Hardwick and the looming SDCC realities.
With Hardwick having been announced on Thursday as the moderator of the first Comic-Con panel of the first female Doctor Who and widely presumed to be handling similar duties, as he has in past years, for TWD panel in the massive Hall H, the accusations swirling around the host now threatened to knee cap a prime promotional platform for AMC.
Clearly in crisis mode, Hardwick himself waited until late late on Friday to address the allegations.
“I was heartbroken to read Chloe’s post,” Hardwick said in his own statement. “Our three year relationship was not perfect—we were ultimately not a good match and argued—even shouted at each other—but I loved her, and did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her.”
Hardwick’s former longtime girlfriend Dykstra wrote a first-person account of their three-year relationship Friday on Medium. While the TV personality and host never mentioned Hardwick by name, details about the “mildly successful podcaster” who grew into “a powerhouse CEO of his own company” and the timeline of the relationship suggested strongly that she was referring to him – an implication that Hardwick obviously confirmed in his response.
The posting by Dykstra detailed a three-year relationship in which she was restricted from going out at night, having male friends or speaking in public places, among other controlling behavior by the unnamed Hardwick. It also claimed that she was the victim of sexual and emotional assault by Hardwick
Dykstra also alleged that after she left him, Hardwick and a female colleague had her successfully blacklisted from a lot of the industry, calling companies she worked for “to get me fired by threatening to never work with them.”
In March, NBC renewed its Hardwick-hosted game show The Wall for a 20-episode third season later this year. The Comcast-owned net has not responded to request for comment on allegations or Hardwick’s status with the broadcaster.
Filmed over a month ago, the first episode of the eight-episode second season of Talking features Atlanta and Solo star Donald Glover as the guest.
As well as not indicating if the Hardwick hosted Talking Dead will be back in the fall, AMC today gave no indication if the Glover episode or any other episode of Talking With Chris Hardwick will ever now see the light of cable day. Nor did the cabler reveal what will be replacing Talking tomorrow night at 11:02 PM EST. However, the presence of Talking on AMC’s official website has been dramatically scaled back since yesterday with multi-media and other elements now gone. Yet, Talking is still shown on the schedule that AMC has on its site as being on tomorrow night.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom star Chris Pratt, Bill Hader of HBO’s Barry, Ethan Hawke, and Preacher EPs Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were also set to appear on Talking With Chris Hardwick in its now shuttered or dimmed second season.