Bellamy Young has issued an apology to Ryan Seacrest after suggesting that he should “step aside” from his annual gig hosting the E! channel’s red carpet coverage at Sunday’s Academy Awards due to the allegations of sexual misconduct that have been levelled against the “American Idol” host and let somebody “beyond reproach” take over.
Seacrest is continuing to deny the allegations of former E! stylist Suzy Hardy, who detailed her allegations to Variety on Monday following an internal investigation that exonerated Seacrest after finding “insufficient evidence” of her claims. He issued a subsequent statement in which he once again denied the allegations, and accused Hardy of trying to blackmail him, claiming she “tried to buy her silence by asking for money on multiple occasions.”
While the scandal still looms large, the New York Times reported that Seacrest, despite the allegations, was still planning to hit the red carpet at the Oscars on Sunday.
Young — best known for playing President Mellie Grant on “Scandal” — spoke with Variety on Monday at the “Wrinkle in Time” premiere, opining that someone other than Seacrest should handle E!’s red carpet duties this year.
“I’ve been at work all day, so I didn’t know about that,” Bellamy tells Variety (below) when learning Seacrest would be at the awards.
“This is the time to step aside and let someone of equal talent that is beyond reproach to be in charge,” she added. “It’s funny because I know it feels like the rules have changed so I’m sure people who have been in dominant positions are taken by surprise, many of them living in fear, many of them thinking, But this is how we said we’d act. But we never said that. We never consented. Now that someone is asking, ‘Do you consent?’ and we get to say, ‘No,’ people have to accept our no and step aside.”
However, Young has had a change of heart about her comments, issuing a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in which she apologizes to the “Live with Kelly and Ryan” host.
“I have an apology to make,” reads her statement. “On Monday night on the red carpet, I spoke on record about something I had no firsthand knowledge of. I trusted that the information that the journalist provided me with was complete, and I gave my general opinion based on the information he provided. The world is changing quickly right now, and many of us have been affected by this issue: I spoke up because I feel deeply that the secrecy of shame plays a significant part in what has kept this shift from happening before now.”
She continued: “But never has there been a more urgent time to make sure our voices are used for truth, and I failed in that regard Monday night. Our words matter. Our word matters. I apologize to Ryan Seacrest. He has been exonerated from the allegations I was told about on the carpet, so my opinion is different now. I just want to clarify that anyone who uses my quote going forward is using the quote of an uninformed person and fanning the flames of a non-story by making use of an unwitting accomplice. I’ve learned that ‘I don’t know’ can be a complete answer. I will do better next time.”