The litany of allegations of sexual abuse, assault and harassment from dozens of women against former Hollywood bigshot Harvey Weinstein gave rise to what has been dubbed the #MeToo movement. That movement has emboldened women to push back against powerful men who are accused of using their advantages to sexually harass and assault women, and it has now taken down AMC star Chris Hardwick.
According to CBS News, the AMC network placed Hardwick’s “Talking” program on hold — and he has also been withdrawn as a moderator of an upcoming Comic-Con — after “troubling” abuse allegations were leveled against him by a former girlfriend, actress Chloe Dykstra.
Dykstra had made the disturbing claims of sexual assault and emotional abuse in a social media post that didn’t specifically name Hardwick, but offered enough details that it wasn’t difficult to identify him as the subject of her claims, which he has acknowledged and denied.
She described his behavior as controlling and abusive, and said he used his industry influence to get her “blacklisted” after she finally ended the relationship.
In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Hardwick noted that he was “heartbroken” by Dykstra’s claims against him, and proclaimed his continued love for her even as he admitted their three-year relationship had been argumentative and imperfect at times.
He further stated he’d been “blindsided” and “devastated” by the allegations and insisted he “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.”
“As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women,” stated Hardwick.
Hardwick’s “Talking with Chris Hardwick” program, which serves as a follow-on companion talk show to AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead” programs when those series air, has been placed on hold while AMC investigates the claims against the star, and he voluntarily withdrew himself as a moderator from the upcoming Comic-Con in San Diego.
Concurrent with the initial punishment received by AMC, Hardwick also saw all previous ties severed with the “Nerdist” podcast he had founded that had subsequently been acquired by Legendary Entertainment.
The Nerdist website removed Hardwick’s name while issuing a statement which condemned the alleged behavior, and Legendary removed all references to Hardwick while they conducted their own investigation of the claims.
It was further noted that Hardwick’s contract with both Nerdist and Legendary had expired in December 2017 and he no longer had any current affiliation with either.
It remains to be seen if any evidence of Dykstra’s allegations against Hardwick will be produced, and if AMC will finalize their severance of ties with the star.