Before the night's awards were even handed out, Ryan Seacrest's role in E!'s pre-Oscars Live From the Red Carpet show was surrounding by controversy. The longtime E! host has been repeatedly met with sexual misconduct allegations from his former personal stylist Suzie Hardy, causing many people to call for the network to remove Seacrest from the broadcast.
"They really shouldn’t send him [to the Oscars]," #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke told Variety. "This is not about his guilt or innocence. It’s about there being an accusation that’s alive, and until they sort it out, it’s really on E! News and shouldn’t be on us."
The network decided to include Seacrest in the broadcast, but there were rumors that they would be implementing a 30-second delay on the live broadcast. Others reported that E! would lean on co-host Giuliana Rancic to take attention away from potentially awkward red carpet moments. "It’s business as usual," an E! spokesperson told Deadline. "As always, we tape multiple sources of content simultaneously to deliver the best possible show, and there are often brief delays between interviews."
With Seacrest taking his usual spot on the red carpet, some expected him to be met with a cold shoulder by stars looking to avoid the controversy.
“Usually Ryan is the one you want, but there are so many outlets on that carpet," an unnamed PR veteran told Page Six. "Why risk it? There’s plenty of other places for clients to get the exposure." Another publicist added, "If it was a [client who had been involved in the #MeToo movement], I would never put them in that position. I don’t think any smart person would."
Viewers of E!'s Live From the Red Carpet broadcast noticed Seacrest landing fewer interviews than usual from the very beginning of the show.
Some stars did stop to speak with Seacrest, however. In order of appearance, he spoke with: Sofia Carson, Diane Warren, Miguel, Eiza Gonzalez, Kelly and Mark Consuelos, Allison Janney, Christopher Plummer, Andy Serkis, Richard Jenkins, the cast of Get Out (Bradley Whitford, Lil Rel Howery, Betty Gabriel), Donald Sutherland, Rita Moreno, Eiza Gonzalez, Mary J. Blige, Common, Andra Day, Taraji P. Henson, Whoopi Goldberg, and Tiffany Haddish.
Seacrest's time on the red carpet was largely free of confrontation, but Taraji P Henson did appear to throw some shade his direction as she tapped him on the chest and said, “The universe has a way of taking care of the good people. Do you know what I mean?"
While he did land some interviews, viewers noticed that he didn't get the high-profile interviews that we're used to seeing from the red carpet veteran, though. Those stars seemed to prefer speaking with ABC, smaller outlets, or no one.