Chris Hardwick Returning To ‘Talking Dead’ Prompts Loss Of Female Executive Producer And Several Staffers

Chris Hardwick
Al Powers / AP Images

Chris Hardwick remains the only host of the popular AMC show Talking Dead, which runs on Sunday night after episodes of The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead. He was recently ousted from the gig amid allegations of sexual assault levied by former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra in June. She alleged that Hardwick subjected her to long-term emotional and sexual abuse, and deliberately tried to tank her career. Yvette Nicole Brown was named to replace Hardwick on the show in the middle of July, as reported by The New York Daily News.

Whether it was due to fan pressure or some AMC executive liking Hardwick a lot, we will likely never know, but AMC decided to launch their own investigation into the Dykstra complaint to vindicate Hardwick. Within a few weeks, AMC cleared Hardwick, stating their investigation based on interviews of unnamed persons led them to the conclusion that Hardwick should return to work, according to The Wrap. While some fans rejoiced in the news, others on social media were less enthused and felt very sympathetic to Brown who was fired before she even hosted a single episode. There was also the issue that not everyone on the show’s crew was pleased to hear Hardwick was coming back.

Ahead of Hardwick’s return to the air tonight for AMC, and only days after he appeared on the NBC show America’s Got Talent, several members of the crew left the show in protest of his return, including a female executive producer, as reported by The Wrap. SyFy Wire reported that Hardwick held a meeting with the crew in which he apologized for any issues that arose from the Dykstra incident, and offered one-on-one meetings to discuss it with anyone who wished to.

Hardwick disclosed that his relationship with Dykstra wasn’t perfect, as reported at Huffington Post, but according to other sources, they cited Hardwick could be demanding and temperamental. According to Page Six, Dykstra stated the nature of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Hardwick, including not being allowed to have male friends, drinking alcohol, or speaking in public when they were together, in addition to the sexual abuse. She also stated that if need be, she has proof in case there is a need to go to court.

“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.)”