As Hollywood's finest lined the red carpet at last night's 90th Academy Awards, the press area was tainted by the recent sexual harassment accusations levied against Ryan Seacrest by his former stylist Suzi Hardy.
While E! had cleared their star employee of any wrongdoing following a 2-month investigation, Hardy's recent interview with Variety described Seacrest's alleged behavior in lurid detail at a time where the #MeToo and Time's Up movements have gained significant momentum.
In lieu of this, there was naturally widespread criticism over the channel's decision to stick with Seacrest for Hollywood's biggest night, yet many stars still spoke to him, including the Oscar-nominee Allison Janney, and the pop star Rihanna.
However, the 43-year-old had less success with the actress Taraji P. Henson, who seemed to throw shade when talking about the success of her good friend Mary J Blige. “The universe has a way of taking care of the good people, you know what I mean?” she said, with a suggestive smirk and side-eye.
A mainstay fixture on live television, Seacrest is thought to have earned an estimated $380m over the course of an incredibly successful career and is in many respects, a bigger and more powerful star than most of the celebrities he interviews.
Undoubtedly part of the Hollywood machine, the famed television personality is likely to possess a lot of leverage with E!, as a recent article in the Huffington Post suggested, but whether or not that was a reason for clearing Seacrest isn't for us to say.
Ever the showman, Seacrest got on with the job at hand, and with a Time's Up pin on the left side of his tux, informed his viewers that "It promises to be a very special evening." For Seacrest, it certainly was, just not for the reasons he would have liked.
Was E! right to stick with Ryan Seacrest? Or should they have replaced him with someone else?
Let us know in the comments section below.