AMC reinstates Chris Hardwick as host of Talking Dead following probe

The network had been investigating Hardwick after a former girlfriend accused him of emotional and sexual abuse.

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Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick will return to Talking Dead following an investigation by AMC.

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

AMC Networks has reinstated Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick following an investigation of sexual abuse claims, the company said Wednesday.

"Following a comprehensive assessment by AMC, working with Ivy Kagan Bierman of the firm Loeb & Loeb, who has considerable experience in this area, Chris Hardwick will return to AMC as the host of Talking Dead and Talking with Chris Hardwick," AMC said in a statement. "We take these matters very seriously and given the information available to us after a very careful review, including interviews with numerous individuals, we believe returning Chris to work is the appropriate step." 

AMC said last month that it wouldn't air the second season of Talking with Chris Hardwick following allegations of emotional and sexual abuse from former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. It also pulled Talking Dead, the aftershow for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, from its schedule.

Hardwick is also founder of Nerdist Industries, which distanced itself from him in June following the abuse allegations. At the time, the company released a statement saying Hardwick has had "no operational involvement with Nerdist" for years, and removed references to him from its site, including one listing him as the founder. In August, following the AMC investigation, Nerdist put Hardwick's name back on the site's "About" page.    

Nerdist didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: "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 will continue his work on Talking Dead starting with the August 12 episode, according to Comic Book. AMC's Talking with Chris Hardwick will also reportedly air again.

In July, Disney fired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn for a series of old tweets making light of pedophilia and child rape. The following week, Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon deleted his Twitter account after the reemergence of a controversial 2009 sketch video depicting him molesting a baby doll. Cartoon Network's Adult Swim forgave him

First published July 25, 1:31 p.m. PT.
Update, Aug. 10 at 1:53 p.m.: Adds that Hardwick's name is back on Nerdist's site.