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AMC latest to cut ties with Chris Hardwick after abuse allegations

The show Talking With Chris Hardwick won't air for now, and he won't moderate panels at San Diego Comic-Con following charges of emotional and sexual abuse by an ex.

The career fallout for Chris Hardwick, podcast host, Nerdist Industries founder and Comic-Con fixture, continues following allegations of abuse from a former girlfriend last week.

After Nerdist Industries distanced itself from Hardwick, AMC announced Saturday that it won't air the second season of Talking With Chris Hardwick while it reviews the charges published Thursday by actress and former Nerdist host Chloe Dykstra. The season premiere of the show, which focuses on pop culture celebrities, was set to air Sunday night with Donald Glover as the featured guest.

Chris Hardwick speaks on stage during AMC's Fear of the Walking Dead panel at WonderCon in March. 

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC

"We take the troubling allegations that surfaced yesterday very seriously," the network said in a statement provided to Deadline. "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."

Hardwick is a big name at San Diego Comic-Con, often hosting panels for Marvel Studios, 20th Century Fox's X-Men films, Star Wars and Doctor Who -- at times doing several in a day.

Viewers expecting to see Talking With Chris Hardwick on Sunday were instead greeted with a message that said "Talking with Chris Hardwick will not be seen tonight," ComicBook.com reported. AMC instead aired Ride with Norman Reedus. On Monday morning Pacific time, the show's site returned a 404 error. 

AMC has also pulled Talking Dead, the aftershow for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, from its schedule amid its investigation.

In a post on Medium, Dykstra, 29, alleged systematic emotional and sexual abuse over the course of a three-year relationship with a man almost 20 years her senior. She did not name Hardwick, 46, but many readers quickly made the connection. The allegations came to light amid the now widespread #MeToo movement inspired last year by sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein published in detail in The New York Times and The New Yorker.

"When cameras were on us? He was a prince. Turn them off, he was a nightmare," she wrote. She described a highly controlling man who succeeded in getting her blacklisted from several companies she worked for when she left him for another man. Dykstra did not respond to a request for additional comment. 

On Friday, Hardwick released a statement to Deadline denying the abuse allegations and saying that it was in fact him who initiated the breakup. 

"Our three-year relationship was not perfect," he wrote in the statement. "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 did not respond to a request for additional comment. 

Earlier Friday, Hardwick's former company, Nerdist Industries, released a statement saying Hardwick has had "no operational involvement with Nerdist" for years and scrubbed all references to him from its website, including a reference to him as the original founder of Nerdist.

Nerdist Industries grew out of The Nerdist Podcast, a single weekly podcast launched by Hardwick in 2010, but it later expanded to a network of podcasts, a premium content YouTube channel, a news division (Nerdist News), and a television version of the original podcast. The Nerdist website Hardwick founded typically takes over an area outside of the San Diego Comic-Con convention center to host its annual Conival event, which features its own panels.

Meanwhile, the Kaaboo Del Mar comedy and music festival announced Hardwick had been dropped from its September lineup. 

And NBC, which airs The Wall, a game show hosted by Hardwick, said it will assess the situation before production on the show starts in September.

"These allegations about Chris Hardwick took us by surprise as we have had a positive working relationship with him," the network said in an emailed statement. "However, we take allegations of misconduct very seriously."

CNET Associate Editor Mike Sorrentino contributed to this report. 

First published, June 18, 10:38 a.m. PT. 
Update, June 18 at 3:02 p.m. PT: Adds that Hardwick has been dropped from the lineup of the Kaaboo Del Mar festival. 

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