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AMC takes Chris Hardwick off air and out of SDCC following abuse allegations

Hardwick denies claims, but removed from two Comic-Con panels

NBCUniversal Summer Press Day 2018 - Arrivals Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Chris Hardwick, best known as the host of aftershows for AMC recapping The Walking Dead and other series, has had his appearances on that network suspended — one day before its newest season’s premiere — and he has been removed from panels where he was scheduled to appear at San Diego Comic-Con next month. The actions follows allegations that he abused and sexually assaulted his partner, the actress, cosplayer and model Chloe Dykstra.

Dykstra, without naming Hardwick, made the allegations in a post on two days ago. Hardwick was later connected to the allegations, and in a statement to Deadline he denied ever sexually assaulting her. Dykstra became known as a cosplayer, also taking roles in several films and co-hosting a cosplaying series for Nerdist Industries on YouTube.

Nonetheless, Hardwick’s business associates, past and present, moved swiftly to disassociate themselves. AMC, in a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter, said that the Talking with Chris Hardwick show will no longer air “while we [the network] assess the situation,” and that it and Hardwick had agreed he would not host panels for AMC and BBC America at SDCC.

Talking With Chris Hardwick debuted in 2017 and was scheduled to premiere for its second season tomorrow. It’s an offshoot of the popular Talking Dead aftershow that originated in 2011 to discuss the latest episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Hardwick has done similar “Talking” programs for AMC series like Preacher and Better Call Saul. Talking With Chris Hardwick was a general-interest show usually spotlighting a current pop culture figure.

In her 2,500-word post on Medium on Friday, Dykstra alleged several instances of emotional abuse, “including letting him sexually assault me,” over a three-year relationship. Again, Dykstra did not name Hardwick in the post, which she said was intended to support others in or recovering from abusive relationships.

Quickly, though, readers traced the allegations to Hardwick, who founded Nerdist out of a series of podcasts back in 2012. Hardwick left the company late last year, and Nerdist, in a statement, swiftly distanced itself from him following Dykstra’s post.

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