The founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, says that E! should not be sending Ryan Seacrest to work the red carpet at the 2018 Oscars.
While Seacrest is a staple at most awards shows, this year is different. After accusations of sexual harassment were made against the Live With Kelly and Ryan host by a former co-worker, his role at the E!’s pre-Oscars telecast is a controversial one. Many actresses are rumored to be planning to avoid talking to Seacrest. Jennifer Lawrence touched upon the issue in an interview on The Howard Stern Show on February 28, saying she was unsure if she’d allow him to interview her.
In an interview with Variety on Saturday, March 3, Burke touched briefly on that sentiment and said, “They really shouldn’t send him [to the Oscars]. We shouldn’t have to make those choices of, ‘Do we or don’t we?’”
Meanwhile, Page Six reports that Access Hollywood producer Rob Silverstein has also told the show’s hosts to ask stars on the red carpet if they plan to speak with Seacrest.
Others have spoken out about their disappointment that he was going to be interviewing people at all, including Scandal star Bellamy Young, who told Variety that she didn’t think Seacrest should host the red carpet. She later apologized for her comments. The Hollywood Reporter claimed on Sunday that E! is planning a 30-second delay to its live broadcast, which would allow the network to catch any awkward moments.
As previously reported, Seacrest was accused of misconduct in November by an E! News stylist. He denied the allegations at the time and the network later said in a statement that it found “no sufficient evidence to substantiate” the claims. The wardrobe stylist, Suzie Hardy, went public with her claims on February 26, telling Variety that Seacrest once allegedly shoved her head near his crotch and hugged her in his underwear multiple times.
Seacrest’s attorney told Us Weekly in a statement: “On January 31st the network notified us that their independent third-party investigation had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support her claims, effectively, clearing my client’s name. It’s telling that after my client refused to pay her money, and the E! investigation resulted as it did, that she is now coming forward to share her debunked story to the press.”
He isn’t the only celebrity to be accused of sexual misconduct. The past few months have seen a slew of allegations made against famous names, leading to the formation of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, which have made waves in Hollywood and beyond.
Seacrest’s appearance on the red carpet isn’t the only controversy the network is facing, either. E! recently made headlines after a part-time producer claimed she was fired following the Golden Globes, when a clip aired on live television of Eva Longoria, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman calling E! out over the alleged unequal pay of former E! host Catt Sadler.
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