EP 101. Done Right: AMC’s Investigation Of Chris Hardwick

EP 101. Done Right: AMC’s Investigation Of Chris Hardwick
The Risk Control Show

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Welcome To The Risk Control Show

Episode 101. Done Right: AMC’s Investigation Of Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick, the host of Talking Dead a live after-show about AMC’s hit TV series The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead, has faced allegations of abuse made by his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra who wrote a letter accusing him of abuse. As a result, AMC immediately spoke with him, put him on administrative leave and then hired Ivy Kagan Bierman of Loeb & Loeb who then conducted an investigation, (which is a step that most organizations miss).

As a part of the investigation, the evidence they found was unsubstantiated.

The investigation team attempted to interview Chloe Dykstra about her accusations, but she refused to speak to them stating that she wanted to “move on” with her life. Five weeks later, at the end of the investigation, the result of the evidence they found was unsubstantiated with nothing to indicate that the allegations were true. As a result, they recommended that AMC re-instate Chris Hardwick.

The Proper Steps Of An Investigation

We believe that the way AMC reacted to this situation by first temporarily removing Hardwick from all duties, then hiring a third, impartial party to conduct a thorough investigation was the correct line of action. This should remind us in our own organizations that there are protocols and procedures already set in place to guide us through similar investigations to ensure that any allegations made can be substantiated before further actions are made. It is important to note that we are not supporting the idea of people getting away with harassment or abuse. On the contrary, we believe that the investigation should decide whether or not these accusations can be proven.

“I’m not advocating that someone should get away with harassment or abuse, but if someone is going to make an accusation, they should at least be able to talk to the investigator.”

~Steve Wilmes

You Have To Look At All Sides

Whenever we face accusations of this level, it’s is imperative that the investigation take a look at all sides, both from the victim and from the accused. If we don’t take this thorough approach, it’s impossible to build a complete picture of what actually happened. By doing this, we can ensure that those individuals who have been violated and are speaking out in good faith have the confidence to speak up knowing that the investigation will hopefully show what actually happened.

“Don’t let your emotions get involved in your professional environment. When emotions start to get involved, just go ahead and grab a piece of paper, write the word ‘logic’ on it, wad it up and throw it in the trash.”

~Mike Nease

AMC did the right thing

The minute AMC hired Ivy Kagan Bierman, they showed us that their internal policies in place for situations like this are set up correctly. If there is an accusation, there are organizations and guidelines around these kinds of investigations that tell you exactly how to proceed. Educate yourself on these guidelines and use them to create similar policies inside your own organization or agency.

“People that reach the top have big targets on their backs. You have to give them a fair shot at looking at the accusations. You need to look at the victims, but you also need to investigate what actually happened.”

~Steve Wilmes


Listen to the episode for our full conversation!

Here’s Some Of What We Cover In The Episode:

  • What should be done in an investigation
  • What you can and can’t do in regards to sexual harassment.

EEOC-Approved Sexual Harassment Investigation Interview Questions

[Source: kantola.com]

Questions to Ask the Complainant:

  • – Who, what, when, where, and how: Who committed the alleged harassment? What exactly occurred or was said? When did it occur and is it still ongoing? Where did it occur? How often did it occur? How did it affect you?
  • – How did you react? What response did you make when the incident(s) occurred or afterwards?
  • – How did the harassment affect you? Has your job been affected in any way?
  • – Are there any persons who have relevant information? Was anyone present when the alleged harassment occurred? Did you tell anyone about it? Did anyone see you immediately after episodes of alleged harassment?
  • – Did the person who harassed you harass anyone else? Do you know whether anyone complained about harassment by that person?
  • – Are there any notes, physical evidence, or other documentation regarding the incident(s)?
  • – How would you like to see the situation resolved?
  • – Do you know of any other relevant information?

Questions to Ask the Alleged Harasser:

  • – What is your response to the allegations?
  • – If the harasser claims that the allegations are false, ask why the complainant might lie.
  • – Are there any persons who have relevant information?
  • – Are there any notes, physical evidence, or other documentation regarding the incident(s)?
  • – Do you know of any other relevant information?

Questions to Ask Third Parties:

  • – What did you see or hear? When did this occur? Describe the alleged harasser’s behavior toward the complainant and toward others in the workplace.
  • – What did the complainant tell you? When did s/he tell you this?
  • – Do you know of any other relevant information?
  • – Are there other persons who have relevant information?

This document is not intended as legal advice. If legal advice is required or preferred, a licensed attorney in your state should be contacted.

Articles Related To This Episode: Done Right: AMC’s Investigation Of Chris Hardwick

  • Why Is Chris Hardwick Still A Thing? – READ ARTICLE
  • Chris Hardwick Returning To NBC After Abuse Allegations – READ ARTICLE
  • Chris Hardwick’s tearful return to ‘Talking Dead’ – READ ARTICLE
  • AMC Clears Chris Hardwick To Return To ‘Talking Dead’ After Sexual Assault Claims – READ ARTICLE



Keep an eye out for our new podcast mini-series “THIS IS MY NO” COMING SOON!


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Welcome to Wilmes, LLC’s Online course for AB1825 Sexual Harassment for California Supervisors – 2 Hour Course

This course is designed to meet the California regulations under AB 1825 and AB 2053 (Abusive Conduct)

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