Ryan Seacrest has worked diligently to defend his reputation in light of sexual harassment allegations against him.
Many questions were raised about whether E!’s Oscars red carpet coverage would suffer from having Seacrest as the interviewer. Would stars refuse to speak to them out of spite? Would stars be worried for their own reputation?
Taraji P. Henson was one of the stars who did speak with Seacrest on the red carpet, but a comment about Karma had many on Twitter assuming she was subtly slamming the TV host.
The actress told People that her comment was “misconstrued.”
“I did it to keep his chin up. It’s an awkward position to be in. He’s been cleared but anyone can say anything,” Henson said, adding that she “absolutely” supports Seacrest.
Seacrest also sent his love to Henson on Twitter after the interview.
The network’s typically star-studded coverage had trouble getting things rolling.
“During the first 50 minutes of the network’s normally star-studded coverage, Ryan only managed to bag two interviews – with 24-year-old Disney star Sofia Carson and veteran songwriter Diane Warren,” reported UK Daily Mail.
By 7 p.m. eastern time, Seacrest had only managed to speak with a handful of major stars, including Kelly Ripa and Allison Janney.
As the evening progressed, Seacrest’s list continued to improve.
Names such as Ashley Judd, Frances McDormand, Meryl Streep, and Salma Hayek remained absent. Seacrest did, however, score interviews with Whoopi Goldberg, Mary J. Blige, and Tiffany Haddish.
Several stars were vocally supportive of Seacrest. Blige told Seacrest how much she loved “Live with Kelly and Ryan!” “I love you on the show,” she gushed. “I love y’all, y’all have so much fun together.”
His co-host Ripa also told him, “You look amazing. We were watching you upstairs in the hotel. You’re doing a great job.”
Many on Twitter reacted strongly to Henson’s interview with Seacrest, incorrectly assuming she meant to shame him.
Henson said to Seacrest, “The Universe has a way of taking care of good people, don’t you agree?” with what some called a glare and even looked like she cast a “curse” on the E! host.
Following her interview with Seacrest, Henson reportedly told the next reporter: “I’m great now that I’m in your company.”
In light of the circumstances, controversial comedian Kathy Griffin took to Twitter to offer Seacrest’s former stylish and current accuser Suzie Hardy a job.
“Hey Suzie Hardy, I will do for you that which no one did for me after May 30,” tweeted Griffin. “After you were brave enough to speak out I’m happy to offer you a job as my stylist to dress me this week.”
Seacrest, 43, has vehemently denied allegations he “subjected Hardy to years of unwanted sexual aggression.”