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Chris Hardwick Returns To Host Talking Dead After Abuse Investigation
Chris Hardwick Returns To Host Talking Dead After Abuse Investigation
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Chris Hardwick made a tearful speech to mark his return to Talking Dead on Sunday after abuse allegations caused his temporary suspension from the show. 
Hardwick, 46, was removed as host of the show in June after his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra published an essay claiming that she was emotionally and physically abused for three years by an unnamed ex-boyfriend, believed to be Hardwick. 
The TV host denied all allegations and he was reinstated to the show after an investigation by AMC and Ivy Kagan Bierman of the law firm Loeb & Loeb. 
Hardwick returned to the show on Sunday as it was revealed a female executive producer and a 'handful' of the show's 25-person staff left in protest after he was brought back on.    
Emotional return: Chris Hardwick wiped away tears as he returned to Talking Dead on Sunday following a temporary suspension due to abuse allegations 
Former couple: Hardwick is shown with ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra in November 2013 in Los Angeles 
He opened AMC's official aftershow for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead with a tearful speech. 
'Hi, normally I would recap the show that we're about to talk about here, but instead I really just want to take a minute and say that I'm so appreciative to be standing here right now,' he said, wiping away tears. 
'And I want to thank you, The Walking Dead community for all of your support these last couple of months, you know this show is not just a job to me, this is a vital part of my life you know, 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 cast of both of these shows, you know for allowing me to come here and be a part of this community every week,' he continued. 
'This is a community and you know, we're on the precipice of a lot of changes on both Walking Dead shows in the coming weeks and months and I am so looking forward to going on that journey with you and I've said the following words a million times, countless times, and I have never been more thankful than I am in this very moment so say to you that I am Chris Hardwick and this is Talking Dead.' 
So appreciative: The 46-year-old TV host thanked The Walking Dead community for all the support 
Every word: Dykstra posted a tweet on Friday saying she stood by every word in her essay 
After his emotional speech, Hardwick launched into some analysis of the midseason premiered of Fear the Walking Dead. 
He was joined by actress Danay Garcia who plays Luciana on FTWD, actress Yvette Nicole Brown and executive producer Ian Goldberg. 
Hardwick soon recovered from his tearful opening to laugh about the plot lines and characters of FTWD with his guests.  
He closed the show by saying: 'I just want to thank you all so much again, all the wonderful people who work on our staff here at Talking Dead, for all of you fans watching at home, your support has really meant the world to me.' 
'I will be very happy to see you next week,' he concluded.  
Wet eyes: Hardwick wipes his eyes several times at the start of the show 
Big hug: Yvette Nicole Brown who subbed for Hardwick gave him a hug 
Hardwick's tear-filled return comes as it was revealed he had a 'very emotional' meeting with Talking Dead staffers on Wednesday, according to 
Sources said that Hardwick gathered the staff and apologized for the scandal.  
They described his demeanor as 'apologetic and contrite'.  
Hardwick also reportedly told staff members he would have one-on-one meetings with anyone who wanted to address additional concerns.  
The abuse allegations against the host first came to light after Dykstra published an essay titled 'Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession'.  
Dykstra, an actress and cosplayer, went on to claim that she had suffered 'long-term abuse' by an ex-boyfriend who was 20 years her senior.  
She said the former boyfriend, who is never named in the essay, gave her a set of rules she had to follow and made her cut off all her close male friends.  
The guests: Danay Garcia and executive producer Ian Goldberg joined Yvette as guests on the show 
Dykstra was also not allowed to have alcohol, because her boyfriend was sober.  
Hardwick has often discussed his struggles with alcohol addiction. 
'Before we began dating he said, "I noticed you have a glass of wine with dinner. That's going to stop,'" she wrote. 
According to the actress, other rules included not speaking in public places because he thought 'people recognized him and were listening to our conversations.' 
'Our dinners out were usually silent, him on his phone,' she added.  
Dykstra also accused her ex of sexually assaulting her on a regular basis before their breakup in 2014. 
'I was expected to be ready for him when he came home from work...Every night, I laid there for him, occasionally in tears.  
He thought the whole idea was funny,' she wrote. 'To be fair, I did go along with it out of fear of losing him.' 
Dykstra said that after she ended the three-year relationship, her ex retaliated by blacklisting her.   
Showing support: Brown, who was celebrating her birthday, essaytyper showed her support for Hardwick 
This week Dykstra tweeted that she still 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 my self in case of ACTUAL litigation (not a network investigation, where I'm not protected', she wrote. 
After Dykstra's blog post went viral, multiple Talking Dead staffers told The Wrap that Hardwick was known for outbursts and loud confrontations that were similar to those his ex had described. 
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And a former employee who worked for Hardwick at Nerdist claimed he made it hard for individuals to find work in the future if he felt they had betrayed him, just as Dykstra claimed he derailed her career following their break-up. 
Hardwick's name has since been restored on the Nerdist website, which he co-founded. 
He has also been reinstated as host of NBC's prime time game show The Wall and appeared as a guest judge on America's Got Talent last week.  
Next week: Hardwick closed the show with another round of thanks for the staff and fans 



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