AMC announced Saturday it will not air Chris Hardwick's "Talking" series until the network assesses the situation in wake of the "troubling allegations" against the host.
"We have had a positive working relationship with Chris Hardwick for many years. We take the troubling allegations that surfaced yesterday very seriously," the network said in a statement. "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."
Chris Hardwick has denied allegations that he sexually assaulted ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra.
"These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I've taken the day to consider how to respond," Hardwick said in a statement released Friday night. "I was heartbroken to read Chloe's post. 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."
"When we were living together, I found out that Chloe had cheated on me, and I ended the relationship," Hardwick continued. "For several weeks after we broke up, she asked to get back together with me and even told me she wanted to have kids with me, 'build a life' with me and told me that I was 'the one,' but I did not want to be with someone who was unfaithful."
"I'm devastated to read that she is now accusing me of conduct that did not occur. I was blindsided by her post and always wanted the best for her. As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women."
Despite his denial, Hardwick is still facing massive backlash and career fallout. Saturday morning it was announced he was pulled from the lineup of San Diego music and comedy festival KAABOO Del Mar.
HUMOR ME lineup update: Chris Hardwick has been pulled from the KAABOO lineup. A replacement act will be announced shortly. Details: https://t.co/HaPMTNJvjL
Following the allegations, Nerdist Industries -- the media company Hardwick launched with his Nerdist podcast -- posted a photo of a lengthy statement to their Twitter account Friday. The statement addressed the company's mission to a "positive, diverse community," and the type of behavior (sexual abuse) is contrary to "everything [they] stand for and believe in." The statement also included phone numbers for the National Sexual Assault Hotline and RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) hotlines.
Legendary Entertainment -- Nerdist Industries' parent company -- also sent out a statement, explaining that "Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017."
"He no longer has any affiliation with Legendary Digital Networks," the statement continued. "The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original founder of Nerdist pending further investigation."
It all began Friday morning, when Dykstra -- an actress, TV personality, cosplayer and former Nerdist host -- wrote a long, powerful essay, titled "Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession," about suffering through a three-year relationship with an entertainment media mogul "almost 20 years [her] senior." She detailed the alleged sexual assault she suffered, as well as his controlling behavior on top of regular emotional and verbal abuse.
Although she never named Hardwick, the comedian's name began to trend on Twitter Friday morning when people added up clues Dykstra left in her piece to speculate she was referring to Hardwick. Among those clues were mention of feeling pressured to take an on-camera job at her ex-boyfriend's company, she watched this ex-boyfriend grow from "mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company," frequent visits to San Diego Comic-Con and a description of the man in question as a "cheery-sounding famous guy."
Dykstra also alleged that her ex, with the help of an unnamed female colleague, had her blacklisted from other jobs in the entertainment industry after she finally left her ex for another man.
"He made calls to several companies I received regular work from to get me fired by threatening to never work with them. He succeeded. I was blacklisted," she wrote. "With the assistance of a woman who'd gained my trust and my heart over the past year, he steamrolled my career."
Dykstra also explained that because of the traumatic relationship, she developed anorexia and considered suicide.