As far as a grand finale of my mind being blown…this story did not disappoint.
Everybody just put aside what you think of Dykstra or Hardwick for now…
Let’s just back up to what we can all agree on, back up to some common ground, because this ending is mind blowing for all of us. Follow along with me. Sexual assault is something we all think is very important, yes? It’s important to me, I think it should be treated as seriously as murder, for the long term devastating affects it has on the victim and those who care about the victim. I think it is disgraceful that there is any statute of limitations on it. I could be extreme in that opinion, but aside from that, we can agree that we all think it’s very serious and important. All of us. We are all at least in agreement on that.
NOW…let’s read AMC’s statement about Hardwick returning, and as you do so I want you to recall or remind yourself just how important the subject is to you, to all of us. Renew in your mind the visceral emotion that is inevitably connected to it-
“Following a comprehensive assessment by AMC, working with Ivy Kagan Bierman of the firm Loeb & Loeb, who has considerable experience in this area, Chris Hardwick will return to AMC as the host of Talking Dead and Talking with Chris Hardwick. We take these matters very seriously and given the information available to us after a very careful review, including interviews with numerous individuals, we believe returning Chris to work is the appropriate step.”
That is a statement that could be used if he had been accused of shoplifting.
More than that though…Help me out here…I broke my glasses yesterday so maybe I missed in that, if they think he is innocent or guilty. Let me ask AMC…do you think he is innocent or guilty? Because if you think he is guilty you are all pieces of sh*t for continuing to work with him. and if you think he is innocent, than you are all pieces of sh*t for not saying so after it was YOUR dismissal that made this a headline story…harming his reputation.
This is going to sound overly stoic but there is an important point coming, on which I think we will all agree and NEED to NEVER forget…okay? Good…now then…it is the middle of the summer, The Walking Dead is not on the air. Hardwick runs a show that is a peripheral show to that show, and Dykstra is someone 99.99999999 percent of the population never heard off. Her accusing him at that time is not a news story any of us would have ever heard of. It got traction because AMC pulled him. THAT is a news story -AMC pulling a host because of an accusation. THEM pulling him off the air, is why we ALL know about this. …which lead to Hardwick’s reputation being damaged, Dykstra being dissected by Reddit and others (myself included) and a considerable amount of disunity online for almost two months. Their quick trigger and announcement of it is what lead to millions of us, who have never met either of these people and have no responsibility or means to do anything about it other than to cast judgement, being fed the story.
I do not believe that in 2018 they did not know this viral clusterf*ck would be the result. ALL of us, if we are honest with ourselves, formed an instant opinion on Chris Hardwick as a human being when we saw the headline. And that opinion, since information was scant, was mostly the byproduct of our own experiences, some of them profound and tragic. Some of us changed our minds as evidence came forward, some of us had our opinions solidified, some of us stopped paying attention after forming the initial opinion…it’s just our natures. And we ALL know ( including YOU AMC) that is how it is in 2018. ESPECIALLY relating to a subject so serious and visceral as sexual assault.
THEIR initial statement is responsible for this becoming front and center to all of us who care so much about such issues. Yet THEY have reinstalled him in as vague and ass-covering a way possible, as though they have no hand in the story, as if they have no responsibility to do more.Perhaps, LEGALLY they do not…but there is also the responsibility AS A F*CKING HUMAN BEING to YOUR FELLOW MAN (that would be US), is there not? WE have far less ability to “investigate” than them. THEY told us that they investigated…yet as I read their statement …it tells us NOTHING. WHY announce his hiatus publicly, and announce his reinstatement publicly, if you are not going to publicly give us any reasons or information or even sniff at an actual conclusion?!
We are talking about people’s lives. We are talking about alleged heinous, villainous, acts, OR falsely accusing someone of the same. ONE of these people, who is walking among us, is a dangerous in one way or the other…care to tell us which one?! You “investigated”…care to tell us whether or not you believe Hardwick is DANGEROUS? or if you believe he himself was the VICTIM of a damaging false accusation by Dykstra, who would then be GUILTY OF SLANDER and using a vital, precious movement for revenge? You take it seriously do you? Not serious enough to give an actual conclusion, STILL. Even though the possibility of him being dangerous OR her being guilty of slander ARE THE ONLY TWO THINGS THAT ACTUALLY AFFECT SOCIETY IN GENERAL.
BUT…perhaps they didn’t get into more detail…because there was no more details because (are you sitting down?)…DYKSTRA CHOSE NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INVESTIGATION. I’m not making that up. It sounds like I am, but it’s true.
Let’s not argue about what that bespeaks of her and her story (as mind blowing as that aspect is)…Let’s just leave her, and him out of this. The court of public opinion has already dissected them both. The scalpel, perhaps, needs to be turned on AMC. And maybe they where the ones who should have been on the cold metal table this whole time. Soak in the fact that their investigation did not include talking to the accuser. Soak that in.
…”investigation”? What a laugh. WHAT INVESTIGATION?! THE ACCUSER WROTE SIX SENTENCES (and tried to change one on the sly) back in JUNE. and that was ALL that was provided by her and ALL that AMC had to look over. How slow do you people read? How can you say with a straight face that you investigated something that only two people could possibly know…when ONE of them won’t participate?
So, why…I am sure you are wondering…did it take so long for them to make a decision. I’m glad you asked. As with most stories…the timing is everything.
AND THAT IS WHERE THIS GETS WAY WORSE….
Let’s look at the timeline, and this is not for us to argue over the validity of what came out…but to clearly see, in the course of time, when things came out.
June 5th Hardwick is accused of sexual assault
June 6th Hardwick gives his statement
June 6th AMC pulls him and begins “investigating”
June 16th long time ex-girlfriend Jacinda Barrett defends Hardick
June 27th long time ex-girlfriend Andrea Savage defends hardwick
June 28th long time ex-girlfriend Janet Varney defends Hardwick
also during that time several videos and posts of Chloe are dug up by reddit, that contradict her story. TMZ releases texts from Chloe to Hardwick seven months after their break up which also contradicts her story.
July 5th Chloe attempts to change the wording of her accusation.
then NOTHING of any relevance is released, found, or brought forward…
NOTHING NEW for THREE WEEKS.
THEN on July 25, AMC reinstates him.
Odd timing…UNLESS you take into account that AMC had lined up a new host for the Comic-Con panels and the first episode of Hardwick’s The Talking Dead. Those panels took place the weekend just before JULY 25th. The panels were…not that good. That is no dig on Ms. Brown ( his replacement), she is not trained to be a host. Being a host is a difficult job, much harder than it looks. She is currently not at the level of a professional, on air host of a cable network show.
You can see her panel on Youtube, and see his previous panels…there is a dramatic difference in insight, interaction, and entertainment. Again..this is no dig at Ms.Brown. She gave it a good effort for someone who has never done such a thing. But it was a good effort in the same sense of someone who has never thrown a major league fastball managing to last a couple of innings before getting shelled for 9 home runs. If was colossally unfair to her and I give her all the credit in the world for getting through it as well as she did. Given a few years of improv comedy training and a few months to get her footing, I believe she could be a pretty damn good host, if she even wants to. But she is not there yet, not at a professional level that will get an audience to tune in and stay tuned in.
So taking all things at face value, the panels did not go very well.
then, after seeing how the panels went…magically, by through a miracle of coincidence, AMC concludes it’s investigation and reinstates Hardwick.
Don’t you just love it when they think we are stupid?
That we would be oblivious to the obvious conclusion that they were waiting to see how Ms. Brown did before making up their mind…that THEY BASED THEIR DECISION NOT ON HIS GUILT OR INNOCENCE OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, BUT ON THEIR OPTIONS FOR A HOST OF THAT SHOW.
That is disgusting.
If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you know I believe he is innocent and that Dykstra is a severely damaged human being, who was likely damaged long ago in her childhood. She freely admits to one character disorder, and routinely displays symptoms of others. Any of these disorders would allow someone to make such a false accusation. I tell you that again interest of fairness…because even if you disagree, and possibly more so if you disagree…this is disgusting.
This means that be he innocent, they were perfectly willing to let him twist in the wind, and be he guilty they are perfectly willing to have him on the air.
FUCK YOU AMC. SEXUAL ASSAULT Is not a subject to be used as leverage over who hosts a FUCKING TALK SHOW.
“We take these matters very seriously”…that is the biggest lie of this whole thing. Lying right to our faces.
Pulled him in 24 hours, spent nearly two months before making a decision based on six sentences, with the accuser refusing to take part. That’s taking it seriously? How fucking stupid do you think we are out here?
I won’t delve into their motivations for pulling him so quickly, because the options disgust me even more. But the best case scenario…is that they jumped the gun in pulling him, out of fear, and didn’t know what to do after the evidence kept stacking up that he was innocent. That’s the best case scenario…I’ll not speculate on how much Hardwick is getting paid vs how little they would have had to pay his replacement…for a show about TWD which is not making nearly as much money as it did when they first hired Hardwick. Nor will I speculate on the notion that he is tough to work with ( which in not a crime ) and who he might have pissed off, and whether or not they were so vile as to be willing to use this as an excuse to get rid of him. I won’t speculate on those things because I might actually throw up.
I will say this, as someone who believes he is innocent based on the evidence that came out since the accusation (if you still do not, just entertain the possibility…for the sake of argument), Hardwick should not go back and if he does he should leave that network ASAP. Being a keen study of human nature, I do not believe he, or his career is safe there. Since we can all be safe in assuming his reinstatement had little to do with guilt or innocence, the next logical conclusion is him getting pulled was also only based IN PART on the accusation. If he does go back, he should keep his head on a swivel, and should understand fully, that any and all damage to his reputation falls on the shoulders of AMC’s initial decision to comment publicly and their half assed public statement when bringing him back. IF he happens to somehow read this…I would ask he take that advice seriously. and remind him that he had a career, which he built from scratch before AMC and he still has it as long as they don’t manage to damage him any further.
If I were him this would be my statement responding to their statement –
“I am pleased to hear that AMC has come to the conclusion that they want me to return. It makes it that much more rewarding to let them and all of you that I wouldn’t come back to that network for all the tea in china. I will not be retaining any connection to a network so thick with, incompetence, and lack of understanding of how to manage talent. I will not return to a network full of people who know me personally who did not bother for one second to assume my innocence, which is an insult that is incalculable. Of course my leaving will be forgotten amidst the talent that has already left TWD and AMC and the talent sure to leave in the future. Among which I imagine would be any paid talent that has had any relationship in the past that didn’t end with all parties pleasantly agreeing. Any talent that has had an unpleasant break up, slept with a groupie, or had any regrettable night of any scope, or over the course of their entire lives…should probably seek out a network that will not hang them out to dry. I myself will be moving on to other projects, where my ability to relate to and excite a grassroots fans base will increase the popularity, excitement of and profits of whatever show I choose to speak on.”
and here is MY statement to AMC, as if anyone cares, as someone who has had people he loves and cares about who were victims of sexual assault.
“That was some next level, hardcore, heinous -protect the money- behavior, and we ALL saw it, every one of us. Including THOSE OF US WHO HAVE HAD SEXUAL ASSAULT AFFECT US OR THOSE WE CARE ABOUT. Can you guess what we think of you?”
To all the other entertainment companies out there, who are justifiably terrified of having to deal with something like this…here’s a wild idea for you- after you have the lawyers sterilize you statement, how about you find someone from an organization that deals with victims of abuse to de-sterilize it again. Y’know…just add a little…so you sound like you might, maybe, possibly give a flying fuck about your fellow man.