Hardwick Emotional, Cries About Return to “Talking Dead”; Meanwhile Staffers Are Quitting

Chris Hardwick got emotional last night on his big return to Talking Dead after almost losing the show. AMC suspended Hardwick from the show after allegations from his ex girlfriend through his career into a tailspin.

“I really just want to take a minute and I want to say that I am so appreciative to be standing here right now. And I want to thank you, the Walking Dead community for all of your support these last couple of months,” he said. “The show is not just a job to me — this is a vital part of my life,” Hardwick continued. “And this has been a sanctuary. These last seven years we’ve been here. This has been with me through good times and bad times, and I have so much gratitude to you, the fans and the producers and the amazing casts of both of these shows.”

Meanwhile last week staffers including a female executive producer reportedly left the show upon learning of his return.

Reports say that a female executive producer and a “handful” of the show’s staff of approximately 25 have quit since AMC decided to bring back Chris Hardwick. The Wrap reported that Hardwick met with staff members of “Talking Dead” a “very emotional” meeting earlier this week to apologize for all the upheaval.

The staffers are protesting AMC’s decision to allow Hardwick to return just two months after they removed him from the show following accusations of sexual and emotional abuse by an ex-girlfriend. Hardwick’s #MeToo moment came in June when ex Chloe Dykstra authored a post about their relationship on medium.com. She called the Nerdist founder excessively controlling, demanding sex from her, and being emotionally abusive. Following the post, Hardwick’s career quickly crumbled with virtually every show and company he was associated with immediately cutting ties. AMC’s Talking Dead suspended the show days later and replaced Hardwick on show-related moderator gigs at Comic Con.

But Hardwick fought back, releasing messages from his ex that either contradicted some of her statements or revealed the possibility of sour grapes motivations for her medium.com post.

While Dykstra initially remained silent about those messages, she recently tweeted that she 100% stands by “every single word” of her essay. “I made sure it was unembellished, factual, and that I had evidence to back it up in order to protect myself in case of ACTUAL litigation (not a network investigation, where I’m not protected).”

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