Yvette Nicole Brown will be the interim host of “The Talking Dead” when the chat show returns August 12, and will also host the “Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special” on August 5, while AMC continues its investigation into Chris Hardwick.
“Yvette Nicole Brown will step in as an interim guest host of ‘The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special’ on August 5 and ‘Talking Dead’ when it returns following the premiere of ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ on August 12, as we work to complete our assessment related to Chris Hardwick,” AMC said in a statement Friday.
It was previously announced that Brown would take over the AMC panels at San Diego Comic-Con happening next week from Hardwick, whose ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra accused him of abusive behavior in June.
“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 after Dykstra published a Medium post that detailed her accusations. “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 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.”
In her Medium post, Dykstra said that Hardwick abused her mentally and sexually during their three-year relationship, and that he tried to derail her career after they broke up four years ago. Though she did not name identify Hardwick by name in the post, the timing and key details suggested that she was referring to the former “@Midnight” host.
Hardwick said that he was “blindsided” by her post, and denied ever sexually assaulting her, though he did not address her accusation of career retaliation.
“These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I’ve taken the day to consider how to respond. I was heartbroken to read Chloe’s post,” Hardwick’s statement begins. “Our three year relationship was not perfect — 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.”
His statement continued: “I’m devastated to read that she is now accusing me of conduct that did not occur. l was blindsided by her post and always wanted the best for her,” he wrote. “As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women.” (for his complete statement, see our post here).
Brown said in a tweet last week that by moderating the Comic-Con panels, she is “filling in for a friend, which I have done before.”
“I am not jockeying for a job. I have enough of my own. It is my prayer that God’s Will is done in the midst of this process & that everyone is okay. My character is known & sound. Nothing has changed,” she continued.
“Talking Dead” will return to AMC after the premiere of “Fear the Walking Dead” Season 4B on August 12.