Ryan Seacrest and Guiliana Rancic will host E! News' live coverage from the Academy Awards red carpet from 5-7 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 4.
The award show is expected to be another big moment for the Me Too movement and the Time's Up campaign, and Seacrest is a big reason for that. The embattled host has been accused of sexual misconduct and assault on several occasions by his former stylist, Suzie Hardy.
Hardy claims that she lost her job at E! after reporting the attacks through the proper channels. Seacrest has denied the allegations at every turn, and an internal investigation run by E! reportedly turned up no substantial evidence for Hardy's case.
Still, the Me Too movement is in the spirit of empowering women, which means believing them when they say they've experienced trauma.
Many actresses are unsure of how to proceed with Seacrest on the red carpet, as the host has license to approach them and strike up a conversation, and they might look aloof or rude to an average viewer if they try to ignore him.
Many actresses have discussed this upcoming awkwardness in public forums, though none seem to have the answers. Some have said that an award show is not the place to make a stand against a figure like Seacrest, while others feel that he should simply be avoided at all costs.
Tarana Burke, the activist credited with beginning the Me Too movement back in 2006, said that E! should never have assigned Seacrest to the red carpet coverage in the first place.
“I feel like we should be celebrating the fact that people are finally paying attention to what we’ve been talking about for decades,” she told Variety in preparation for the Oscars. To her, that means re-evaluating all protocols, including the 11-year-long tradition of Seacrest hosting the Oscars for E!.1comments
“They really shouldn’t send him," she said plainly. “We shouldn’t have to make those choices of, ‘Do we or don’t we?'”
Still, Seacrest is returning for his 12th year on the Academy Awards' Red Carpet. He'll be onscreen from 5 to 7 p.m. on E!, though ABC will begin their award show coverage early at 1 p.m.