Speculation swirled about whether E!’s red carpet host would endure snubs after his former stylist, Suzie Hardy, went public with her allegations against Seacrest — charges he has repeatedly denied. There were no awkward #MeToo moments Sunday, but in a sign of the network’s nervousness, it mulled implementing a 30-second delay in the live broadcast from the Dolby Theatre. The network released a statement saying, in effect, nothing to see here.
“It’s business as usual,” said an E! spokesperson. “As always, we tape multiple sources of content simultaneously to deliver the best possible show, and there are often brief delays between interviews.”
Seacrest did snag interviews with Oscar nominees Allison Janney and Mary J. Blige, who kept the conversation focused on their film projects (as opposed to who they were wearing). Presenter Taraji P. Henson made things a bit more pointed when she remarked to Seacrest, “The universe has a way of taking care of good people — do you know what I mean?”
LIVE With Kelly and Ryan’s Kelly Ripa even extended her co-host an arms-length hug from the red carpet and complimented his performance. A number of musicians dropped by to share the mike, including Common and Oscar-nominated songwriters Diane Warren and Mary J. Blige.
Still, E!’s Oscar coverage leaned heavily on co-host Giuliana Rancic’s interviews with celebrities from The Roosevelt Hotel. Those A-listers who didn’t stop by to chat with Seacrest from the red carpet turned up in fashion commentary from celebrity stylist Jason Bolden, and Elaine Welteroth, former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue.