On Sunday night, Chris Hardwick returned to his role as the host of Talking Dead with a lot of tears and a good deal more controversy involving the departure of a female executive producer and a number of staffers from the show. This was following an investigation by AMC into Hardwick’s behavior after the publication of an essay on Medium by Hardwick’s ex-girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra, alleging abusive behavior to her by Hardwick (without naming him explicitly).
While Hardwick was temporarily removed from programming at Comic-Con International in San Diego, as well as AMC’s programming, his name was also removed from the pop culture website, Nerdist, which Hardwick founded. Recently, his name was returned to the website as its founder. This change was met by a number of reactions, leading to Nerdist making a statement on Twitter about the return of Hardwick’s name to their site.
There are many ways you can help a friend/loved one who has been affected by abuse & violence. Violence & abuse can have psychological, emotional, & physical effects on a survivor. These effects aren’t always easy to deal w/ but with the right help & support they can be managed.
— Nerdist (@nerdist) August 13, 2018
The letter opens by noting, “Last week, our parent company completed its investigation into the allegations against Chris Hardwick and issued a statement on our site that reinstated a mention of Hardwick as the founder of Nerdist, which is factually true.” It continued to explaing, “This statement is not intended to imply any change in our ongoing support of women and victims, nor does it change our business relationship with Hardwick, which concluded in 2017.”
The statement followed by stating that, “Our shows and stories are created by a team of people dedicated to making nerd culture and the internet a more positive, inclusive, and thoughtful place. We hope to continue to embody that mission with our content, our community, and most importantly, our actions.”
The statement then went into greater detail about the effects of abuse, “There are many ways you can help a friend/loved one who has been affected by abuse & violence. Violence & abuse can have psychological, emotional, & physical effects on a survivor. These effects aren’t always easy to deal w/ but with the right help & support they can be managed.” It finished by listing a number of organizations that provide help for people suffering from abuse or violence.
The statement was met by some confusion from respondents on social media, as there explanation for why Hardwick’s name was returning to their website seemed mostly to distance the site from Hardwick (who left the company as CEO in 2017) without actually explaining why his name was back on the site. After all, it was “factually true” that he was the site’s founder when it was initially taken down, so it did not explain what, exactly, changed, other than Hardwick being cleared by a different company to return to their airwaves.
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