Yvette Nicole Brown to replace Chris Hardwick as SDCC Walking Dead panel moderator

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Jul 4, 2018, 5:35 PM EDT (Updated)

Regular Talking Dead guest and fan favorite Yvette Nicole Brown will be replacing Chris Hardwick as moderator for both of the Walking Dead fan panels at this month’s San Diego Comic-Con, as Hardwick continues to be surrounded by controversy.

Brown, one of Hardwick’s frequent guests on AMC’s Talking Dead after-show and the host of SYFY’s Cosplay Melee, will moderate both the The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead panels at this year's SDCC, according to Deadline. The former Community star has also brought her enthused fan’s perspective to other AMC after-shows, and has been promoted by fans on social media as a potential long-term successor for Hardwick as the host of both his shows, which have been suspended by AMC.

Hardwick’s replacement as a heavy SDCC presence comes in the wake of unnamed accusations last month from Chloe Dykstra, his former girlfriend, that her longtime ex-boyfriend (widely presumed to be Hardwick) had assaulted her sexually and abused her emotionally. Hardwick has denied the accusations, while other women close to him, including his current wife, Lydia Hearst, and three of his former girlfriends, have publicly defended his character ever since Dykstra came forward with the accusations.

In the wake of the controversy, Hardwick decided to step aside from hosting his AMC and BBC panel events at SDCC this month, according to AMC's statement announcing his removal from their Talking shows.   

Now Brown will be hosting both Walking Dead panels, which will take place on July 20, with stars expected to appear from both shows — including Andrew Lincoln, Melissa McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Norman Reedus, Kim Dickens, and Lennie James, among others. This year’s SDCC runs from July 19-22 at the San Diego Convention Center.