Geek culture avatar Chris Hardwick has seen swift blowback after actress and former Nerdist host Chloe Dykstra posted a damning online essay late Thursday accusing her ex-boyfriend of “sexual assault,” “controlling behavior” and career sabotage.
Though Hardwick on Friday vehemently denied the sexual assault accusation, he mostly sidestepped her other claims beyond saying, “I’m devastated to read that she is now accusing me of conduct that did not occur.”
But major companies that work with Hardwick were quick to respond and publicly hit the pause button on their professional relationship.
Here they are (so far):
• Nerdist Industries
Nerdist Industries, the podcast-based digital media empire launched by Hardwick and sold to Legendary Entertainment in 2012, was quick to distance itself from its creator.
“Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017,” a Legendary Entertainment spokeswoman told TheWrap via a statement on Friday. “He no longer has any affiliation with Legendary Digital Networks.”
“The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original Founder of Nerdist pending further investigation,” the rep added.
On Saturday, AMC pulled “Talking With Chris Hardwick,” from its schedule one day before the second season premiere was set to air, with guest Donald Glover. It’s unclear when, or if, the new season’s episodes might air.
“We have had a positive working relationship with Chris Hardwick for many years. We take the troubling allegations that surfaced yesterday very seriously,” AMC said in a statement.
Hardwick has been a mainstay at AMC since 2011, when he began hosting the talk show “Talking Dead” after the premiere episode of “The Walking Dead” Season 2. Hardwick has also hosted “Talking Bad” after “Breaking Bad,” “Talking Saul” after “Better Call Saul,” and “Talking Preacher” after “Preacher.”
Hardwick, who has been a mainstay at San Diego Comic-Con and other fan events for more than a decade, “has decided to step aside from moderating planned AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego next month,” AMC announced Saturday.
It’s unclear if he will still moderate any other panels at the annual fan convention, including one for Warner Bros.’ DC Films.
On Saturday, NBC also announced that it would “assess” its ties to Hardwick, who was expected to begin shooting the third season of the primetime game show “The Wall” 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 a statement, adding, “we are continuing to assess the situation and will take appropriate action based on the outcome.”
The network did not indicate if it would conduct its own investigation of Hardwick’s behavior, or discuss the fate of Hardwick’s “The Awesome Show,” a round-up of science and tech innovations announced last year that has not yet been scheduled.
• KAABOO Del Mar festival
The three-day music and comedy festival at the Del Mar racetrack and fairgrounds outside San Diego announced Saturday that it had decided to “to pull Chris Hardwick from the KAABOO Del Mar 2018 comedy lineup following detailed accusations of substantial abuse.”
Organizers of the event, which runs Sept. 14-16, said they were “dedicated to providing a safe community and fostering an inclusive environment for all of our guests, performing artists and comedians, chefs, visual artists and team members. KAABOO does not condone, and will not tolerate, any type of abusive behavior or harassment.”