Last month we looked at the impending resurrection of the television career of comedian and game show host Chris Hardwick. After a blog post written by his former girlfriend accused him of all manner of improprieties during their relationship, pretty much all of Hardwick’s television deals (and he has quite a few on multiple networks) were put on hold, along with his ouster from the nerd throne at the San Diego Comicon. But after a few weeks worth of investigation commissioned by AMC, it was announced that there was insufficient evidence to convict him in the Court of Public Opinion. He would be returning to helm his various “Talking” shows on the network.
It seems like that was the signal everyone was waiting for. He’s not only getting his Talking Dead show back but his NBC game show, The Wall, will be returning as well. Not only that, but he’ll be doing a stint as a guest judge on America’s Got Talent. (Deadline)
NBC ran a promo Tuesday night confirming that he will sit on the judges’ panel on the Aug. 7 episode of America’s Got Talent as previously scheduled. NBC has also confirmed that The Wall is set for a fall return with Hardwick returning as host for season three. NBC ran a promo tonight that announced the news.
When the scandal broke, Hardwick began to fall into a rabbit hole of losing gigs. In regards to The Wall, NBC released a statement while the story unfolded saying: “These allegations about Chris Hardwick took us by surprise as we have had a positive working relationship with him. However, we take allegations of misconduct very seriously. Production on The Wall does not begin until September, and in the meantime we are continuing to assess the situation and will take appropriate action based on the outcome.”
So rather than “edging” back toward Hardwick to see how people might react or judge if “enough time had passed,” the industry seems to be stampeding to load him up with even more work than he had before this all began. I’ve already weighed in with my own opinion on the allegations based on nothing more than observations made from afar. (And my opinion on this matter plus fifty cents still won’t get you a cup of coffee these days.) I tend to believe him and don’t find the stories told by Chloe Dykstra to be totally credible. In that sense, I suppose congratulations to Chris are in order.
But the entire episode can’t be put to bed without a definite uncomfortable feeling. What if I’m wrong? What if everyone is wrong and Dykstra wasn’t just a psychotic ex-girlfriend? There are certainly still some activists in the #MeToo movement out there who are claiming that he’s being given a clean bill of health too soon. (And I’m not just talking about Kathy Griffin, who later deleted this tweet containing two words, one of which was an F-Bomb.)
So where do we go from here? #MeToo produced many women who become icons of a sort for bringing forth their stories of actual abuse. Will Chris Hardwick now be the poster boy for the wrongly accused? I’m willing to wager it’s not a job he’s interested in, but he can’t be the only one.