Nerdist founder and host Chris Hardwick will appear in Borderlands 3, despite abuse allegations leveled against him last year. Gearbox confirmed to The Verge that Hardwick would return to voice Vaughn, a character introduced in Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands. A spokesperson declined to comment further on the company’s decision to do so. “We don’t have any comments at this time on the process of bringing him on board,” the spokesperson said.
In 2018, actress Chloe Dykstra published a post on Medium detailing sexual and emotional abuse allegations against a former boyfriend. She does not name him, but it is believed to be Hardwick. Following the allegations, Nerdist pulled Hardwick’s name and posts from the site; many writers publicly denounced him as well. Hardwick — who appears on AMC as the host of after shows such as Talking Bad (for Breaking Bad), Talking Saul (for Better Call Saul), Talking Preacher (for Preacher) and Talking Dead (for The Walking Dead) — was removed from San Diego Comic-Con panels shortly after. AMC pulled his show, Talking with Chris Hardwick.
Following an internal investigation by Nerdist, Hardwick’s name was later returned to the site (though the About page has once again been updated with no mention of his founding role). A follow-up statement from the site’s staff adds that Hardwick’s role as founder is “factually true,” and that its statement “is not intended to imply any change in our ongoing support of women and victims, nor does it change our business relationship with Hardwick, which concluded in 2017.” Hardwick was also reinstated to both Talking Dead and Talking with Chris Hardwick following what AMC called a “comprehensive assessment.” At the time, Dykstra said that she “chose not to participate in the investigation of the person I spoke of.”
On May 29th, Dykstra tweeted about Hardwick’s inclusion in the upcoming Borderlands. “I hate saying this as a huge fan of Gearbox games and (most of) the developers who work on them,” she tweeted. “After having had a personal/working relationship with the company, it’s hard for me to support the franchise anymore.”