With sexual harassment allegations hanging over the head of E!’s go-to Oscars red carpet host Ryan Seacrest, questions have been raised regarding the appropriateness of having him work this year’s Academy Awards. #MeToo founder Tarana Burke has recommended the entertainment news outlet keep Seacrest at home, while reports have surfaced that a number of stars will be actively avoiding the American Idol host on Sunday. It appears E! is preparing for potential issues with the face of their red carpet coverage with a number of strategies in place.
Deadline reports that E! is plotting out several “defensive scenarios” to protect the network from live backlash on the red carpet. Among those things? The consideration of a 30-second delay on interviews with Seacrest.
“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 tells Deadline. Another executive with knowledge of the situation confirms that the longer than usual delay is one of several “defensive scenarios” that E! has on the table in the Seacrest matter for Sunday afternoon.
E! has told Deadline that they are approaching their Oscars coverage the same way normally do.
“It’s business as usual,” offered an E! spokesperson on Sunday morning “As always, we tape multiple sources of content simultaneously to deliver the best possible show, and there are often brief delays between interviews.”
There’s a fair bit of skepticism in the public arena that things will be “business as usual” if someone acknowledges the alleged harassment and abuse her subjected his ex-stylist to. Former producer Aileen Gram-Moreno says she was let go from E! for allowing a segment featuring Eva Longoria’s critcism of the network to air during their Golden Globes coverage. E! has come under significant pushback in the wake of pay discrepancy claims and Seacrest’s presence at this year’s Oscars isn’t likely to be greeted warmly by all.