Chris Hardwick's Name Returns to Nerdist Website After AMC Investigation
The website had previously scrubbed references of the founder's name after ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra accused him of sexual assault and emotional abuse.
In the wake of an AMC investigation into allegations of misconduct, Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick has returned to the company website's "About" page.
"Founded by Chris Hardwick in 2012, Nerdist is home to the Nerdist Podcast Network, Nerdist News and Nerdist Presents," the page read as of press time on Friday. The website had previously scrubbed references of the founder's name after ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra accused a former boyfriend, assumed to be Hardwick, of sexual assault and emotional abuse in a story on Medium in June.
"Following an internal investigation conducted with the assistance of outside employment counsel into Mr. Hardwick’s conduct while employed at Nerdist, we have made the determination to restore the reference to Mr. Hardwick as a founder of Nerdist," the company said in an official statement.
Nerdist's move follows an investigation by AMC that resulted in Hardwick returning to the network as the host of Talking Dead and Talking With Chris Hardwick after a brief hiatus. Labor attorney Ivy Kagan Bierman of Loeb & Loeb presided over the inquiry.
"We take these matters very seriously, and given the information available to us after a very careful review, including interviews with numerous individuals, we believe returning Chris to work is the appropriate step," AMC said in a statement about the investigation.
Hardwick will appear on Talking Dead on Sunday. Hardwick additionally appeared as a guest judge on a new episode of America's Got Talent (which was originally filmed in December) on Wednesday, and will return as host of NBC's The Wall.
Former Nerdist contributor Donna Dickens wrote of the news on Friday on Twitter, "Some personal news: @nerdist has decided to put Hardwick's name back on their site so I've decided not to write for them anymore."
In her original Medium story, Dykstra, who did not name Hardwick but described a public figure that has been widely identified as the public personality, alleged that, during their relationship, the subject of the piece had sexually assaulted her, imposed restrictive rules on her and helped spark an eating disorder.
Dykstra later said she "chose not to participate" in the AMC investigation and did not want to sabotage his career for her story as "I do not believe in an eye for an eye."
On Monday, Nerdist updated its previous statement, emphasizing its support for abuse victims and providing a list of outlets and hotlines to help, including RAINN, National Sexual Assault Hotline and Crisis Text Hotline. "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. 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."
Aug. 10, 12:24 p.m.: Updated to include Nerdist statement.
Aug. 13, 2:30 p.m.: Updated to include new Nerdist statement.