The red carpet at the 2018 Academy Awards was rife with controversy. Last year, numerous sexual assault allegations against big-name Hollywood moguls spurred the Time's Up and MeToo movements, and red-carpet host Ryan Seacrest recently became one of the alleged abusers. Stars were divided in terms of their willingness to stop and chat with the Oscar mainstay, and big names like nominees Allison Janney and Taraji P Henson and Canadian Donald Sutherland spoke to Ryan.
Other stars who paid the 43-year-old a visit include Mary J. Blige, Donald Sutherland, Miguel, Christopher Plummer, Whoopi Goldberg, Common, Andra Day, Tiffany Haddish and part of the cast of Get Out. Some viewers believed Taraji may have made sly remark towards Ryan during their red carpet chat, saying with a knowing grin while touching his chin, "The universe has a way of taking care of the god people, you know what I mean?" But the presenter revealed that she had actually been trying to help her friend keep his chin up.
Some A-list representatives have said that their clients will choose not to talk to Ryan on the red carpet: “Usually Ryan is the one you want. . . but there are so many outlets on that carpet, why risk it? There’s plenty of other places for clients to get the exposure,” an anonymous PR source told Page Six. Another unnamed 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.”
Ryan was first accused of sexual assault by his former stylist Suzie Hardy last November, who'd worked for him since 2007 to support her daughter as a single mother. Their professional relationship ended in 2013 after Suzie took the issues to human resources, Variety reported, at which time her employment ended. But the stylist took matters into her own hands and had her attorney submit a letter to E! News in November.
The network released a statement standing by their star. “E!’s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough,” said an E! spokesperson, adding, “The investigator is an attorney with nearly 20 years experience and is highly regarded professionally. Any claims that question the legitimacy of this investigation are completely baseless.”
Three hours before the red carpet show began to fill, Giuliana took to Instagram to voice her support for Ryan, writing, "12 years...thousands of laughs...hundreds of stars...and one amazing red carpet bff. You'll always be younger (4 months) but I'll always be taller (in heels) Can’t wait to see you today at the Oscars @ryanseacrest!!!"
The Golden Globes this year - the first awards show since Time's Up came to fruition - saw many stars call out gender inequality on live TV. Catt Sadler, a former E! News host, quit her job on the basis of pay inequity. Industry women like Debrah Messing and Eva Longoria voiced their support for Catt while being interviewed by Guiliana Rancic on air.