Hours after they removed references to founder Chris Hardwick from the Nerdist website, Legendary Entertainment -- who owns the geek culture website -- has issued a brief statement reiterating their commitment to investigating claims of sexual assault by Hardwick and encouraging abuse survivors to get help.
Besides contact information for domestic and international rape and abuse support groups, the statement is nearly identical to the one provided to journalists earlier today, which clarified that Hardwick has not been a part of Nerdist/Legendary for a while.
“Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017,” the statement reads. “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.”
The full statement, which can be read in the tweet below, also includes language about inclusivity and diversity, likely signaling that it was copied directly from Legendary's company policies.
Dykstra posted an essay late last night, which has gone viral today, detailing an abusive relationship which she describes in enough detail to leave little doubt that the man involved was Hardwick, but declines to name him. She does say in the piece that her abuser was twenty years older than her, and that he went from being a podcaster to the CEO of his own company. Hardwick fits both descriptions.
Legendary bought Nerdist in 2012, the first year Hardwick and Dykstra were a couple. They split in 2014.
Hardwick rebranded the long-running Nerdist Podcast as ID10T and moved it away from the site in February, severing the last ties he had with the company. Before it was removed, his bio incorrectedly stated that he was still working there.
Per the bio, Hardwick "currently serves as founder, CEO, and creative head of Nerdist Industries, a media empire under the Legendary Digital Network that encompasses the Nerdist.com website, YouTube channel, and Hardwick’s incredibly successful Nerdist Podcast, which he continues to host and garners over 6.9M downloads per month."
Dykstra's essay details a relationship where her ex set out detailed "rules," to which she agreed against her better judgment, and then became regularly and easily enraged. She describes regular sexual abuse, as she would be pressured into sex against her will and would eventually accede to his demands out of fear of upsetting him or losing him.
"A sincere and heartfelt apology could have made my last four years a hell of a lot easier," Dykstra wrote in her essay. "The person I used to date would try to sue me due to pride- I would not recommend it. I have audio/video that will support and prove many of the things I’ve stated in this post. I’ve chosen not to include it for your sake, in the hopes that the person you’ve become will do the right thing."