All five women competing in this year’s Oscar race for Best Actress avoided what is typically the “must do” interview of the red carpet — a chat with Ryan Seacrest.
Amidst accusations of sexual misconduct against the busy E! News host — which he vehemently denies — his traffic at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater was noticeably lighter this year, especially when it came to stars nominated in key awards categories.
Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”), Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) and Meryl Streep (“The Post”) all skipped the E! spot on the Oscar carpet.
Seacrest also declined to walk the red carpet before he began his hosting duties, breaking with his tradition of several years. He did land interviews with nominees like Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”) and Richard Jenkins (“The Shape of Water”) as well as high-profile presenters and attendees like Tiffany Haddish.
During his segments on the broadcast, cohosted by Giuliana Rancic, Seacrest avoided any talk of the sweeping #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that have blanketed awards-season conversation since the Harvey Weinstein scandal erupted.
Hours before the carpet commenced, Deadline reported that Seacrest would be afforded a 30- second delay from the network in case he was rejected live by talent, or in the event that anyone confronted him about the accusation on the air. The network denied it, saying no such measures would be taken and the show would be “business as usual.”
Less than a week ago, Seacrest’s accuser, former stylist Suzie Hardy, came forward with the specifics of a harassment claim she raised with E! owner NBCUniversal last November — including accusations that Seacrest groped her genitals and pressed his erection against her.
A formal investigation from the network said Seacrest was innocent of any wrongdoing. His lawyer also said Hardy sought $15 million in exchange for her silence. Hardy hit back and said Seacrest was pushing a “false narrative.”