I’ve thought about writing this post since the first #MeToo allegations started coming out but didn’t say anything out of fear. See, I’m a chick, and the internet HATES IT when a chick says, “but what if she’s lying?” If you deign to suggest the proposed victim might be full of shit, suddenly you’re accused of “victim blaming” whether you pointed a finger of fault or not.
This morning, I woke up to the news that Chloe Dykstra had passively made accusations of emotional and sexual abuse via an unlisted post on Medium. In the post, she doesn’t actually come right out and say his name, but she really didn’t need to. To any longtime Chris Hardwick fan or Nerdist podcast listener, it was obvious simply due to the timeline details she included.
The accusations include all the classic signs of someone who is emotionally abusive—isolation from friends and family, controlling behavior and rules, hardcore possessiveness—and goes as far as to say that she let him sexually assault her regularly because she was expected to be ready to go the minute he got home.
As soon as I saw the headline, I ran out to read her post. Now to be clear, I’m not saying she’s full of shit. At all. She may be speaking 100% truth in every word. I wasn’t there. You weren’t there. But that’s exactly my point. Regardless of the fact that neither of us were there, the court of public opinion is in full swing and they’ve already reached a verdict. We’ve seen it happen many times over already and I think it’s safe to say that Hardwick’s career is over. Legendary Entertainment scrubbed him from the Nerdist website already, immediately issuing a statement putting a chasm of space between him and the empire he built “pending further investigation”:
“Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017,” the Nerdist statement read. “He no longer has any affiliation with Legendary Digital Networks. The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original Founder of Nerdist pending further investigation.” Legendary Entertainment
Well, that’s great and all but there wont be any “further investigation”, will there? Dykstra didn’t go to the authorities. She went to the internet, the court of public opinion, even though she claims to have audio and video evidence supporting her case. So that’s it. His career is over, guilty or not. There is no coming back from social media deciding you’re a monster. It’s done. Fin. They’re already moving on to the next case.