In the wake of sexual abuse allegations leveled against Chris Hardwick by ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra (though she never mentioned him by name), Hardwick has been stepping away from public appearances for the time being while networks reevaluate their Hardwick-centralized programming. AMC has already cancelled the second season of Talking with Chris Hardwick, which would have premiered last month, and on Friday Talking Dead panel guest Yvette Nicole Brown was tapped by the network to fill in temporarily for Hardwick when the show returns this fall. (Hardwick has denied all allegations but has agreed to “step aside” from hosting duties as AMC continues its “assessment” of their relationship.)
“Yvette Nicole Brown will step in as an interim guest host of The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special on Aug. 5 and Talking Dead when it returns following the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead on Aug. 12, as we work to complete our assessment related to Chris Hardwick,” reads AMCs official statement on the matter. Brown has frequently appeared on Talking Dead as a panel guest and has been considered a longtime friend of the show. Last month, AMC also announced that she would take over The Walking Dead panel hosting duties from Hardwick at San Diego Comic Con next weekend.
To curtail backlash from fans who accused Brown of trying to replace Hardwick, she tweeted, “I will say this once. I am filling in for a friend, which I have done before. I am not jockeying for a job. I have enough of my own. It is my prayer that Gods Will is done in the midst of this process & that everyone is okay. My character is known & sound. Nothing has changed.”
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