Look: I don’t really want to cover this, but as someone who covers The Walking Dead universe extensively for another site, where this is outside of the scope of what I do over there, I feel compelled to weigh in a little in light of Chris Hardwick’s return to The Talking Dead last night, where he tearfully expressed gratitude for being able to keep his job (and profusely thanked Yvette Nicole Brown for being such a great friend to him).
“This has been with me through good times and bad times, and I have so much gratitude to you the fans, the producers, and the casts of these amazing shows for allowing me to be a part of this community every week,” he continued on Sunday. “This is what this is, a community, and 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’ve never been more thankful than I am in this moment to say to you: I am Chris Hardwick and this is Talking Dead.”
I just want to say this:
I believe Chloe Dykstra, who continues to stand by her original Medium piece, and who has gained nothing besides the ability to move on from it. I don’t know if any of you have ever waded into her @mentions on Twitter, but I have seen a lot of shit on Twitter Dot Com, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone experience as much abuse as Dykstra. I hope to God, for her sake, that she never reads her mentions. And for those that might say that Dykstra perceived abuse where others might not, trust me: She knows the difference.
Hey dudes. Just a reminder: I 100% stand by every single word of my 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). That is all.— Chloe Dykstra (@skydart) August 10, 2018
I will also say this: I believe all of Chris Hardwick’s ex-girlfriends, who have come forward to vouch for him. There’s no reason not to believe that they had different/better experiences with Hardwick than Dykstra did, and ultimately, it may be why AMC reinstated him, because they could not find a pattern of abuse in his history (it is also worth noting that Dykstra did not participate in the investigation).
I also believe Yvette Nicole Brown, who clearly genuinely believes Hardwick and believes Hardwick to be a good person, because Chris Hardwick has convinced her of that. (That is not to say that Brown is not a good judge of character; it only means that we all put on different faces for different people).
I also believe Hardwick when he says that he is grateful to have his job back. He should be grateful.
As for the content of his character? I won’t weigh in on that, but I will let the fact that he used TMZ to gaslight Chloe Dykstra speak for itself. I’ll also let the fact that many of his former co-workers didn’t speak on his behalf speak for itself, and I’ll let the fact that a female executive producer and a handful of staffers on The Talking Dead quit in protest over Hardwick’s reinstatement speak for itself.
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