Does #MeToo Mean Nothing to E! News but Money?

According to Deadline, E! producers were planning on using 30-second delays for their “Live From the Red Carpet” pre-Oscar show just in case anyone confronted the show’s host, Ryan Seacrest, about assault allegations.

“The plan being considered is to mainly ensure plenty of time to either cut to Giuliana or to pull the plug altogether unnoticed if an on-camera encounter with Ryan goes into tricky territory,” an insider told Deadline. Another executive confirmed that the extended delays were just one of many different “defensive scenarios” E! had planned in regards to Seacrest on Sunday afternoon.

With the women of the #MeToo movement and the #TimesUp initiative making it clear they’d be bringing their activism to the Oscars, it wasn’t hard to guess that E! was trying to skirt around any confrontations involving sexual assault allegations against Seacrest that recently came to light.

In a Variety report published last Monday, Ryan Seacrest’s former wardrobe stylist, Suzie Hardy spoke out about how Seacrest allegedly sexually abused her during her tenure as his personal stylist. Hardy described how Seacrest, wearing only his underwear, allegedly “threw [Hardy] onto a hotel-room bed, climbed on top of her” and allegedly rubbed his erection against her until a co-worker began yelling at him. She also detailed the other cases of alleged assault including Seacrest hitting her buttock leaving a welt hours after, Seacrest allegedly shoving Hardy’s face into his crotch while she tied his shoes, and Seacrest allegedly cupping her crotch, pulling his hand away, and then  asking her, “Oh my god, are you going to sue me?”

It is important to note E! declared on Feb 1,

The investigation, conducted by outside counsel, found insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest and therefore could not be substantiated.

It seems the producers were more concerned about perfecting their image and avoiding the much-needed conversations. This is extremely telling about where E! stands in regards to the #MeToo movement and Hollywood’s shift against its misogyny and rape culture.

Clearly E! wants nothing to do with that “critical cultural change” seeing as they were more than ready to edit Seacrest’s coverage in order to cover him from any criticism.

But, did Taraji P. Henson let some criticism slide? For more, check out: Taraji P. Henson Says She Wasn’t Dissing Ryan Seacrest at the Oscars

Cover Image Courtesy of Al Seib/Los Angeles Times

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