Empire actress Taraji P. Henson wasn’t having Ryan Seacrest’s business-as-usual, let’s-pretend-I’m-not-in-the-middle-of-a-sexual-harassment-lawsuit schtick Sunday night on the 2018 Oscars red carpet...or so everyone thought, for a few glorious hours. In the amazing clip below, Henson chats with the E! correspondent, seemingly dissing the dude by telling him, “You know what? The universe has a way of taking care of the good people. You know what I mean?” while coyly gesturing her hand toward his face.
Apparently it was too good to be true: On Monday, Henson told People she wasn’t trying to insult the guy, and was, in fact, showing support for him. “I did it to keep his chin up. It’s an awkward position to be in,” she told the publication. “He’s been cleared but anyone can say anything.” Maybe everyone was wrong for reading too much into her behavior on the red carpet, or maybe some powerful television entity told her to change her tune—either way, it’s disappointing, given the accusations leveled against Seacrest.
Last month, the media mogul’s former stylist Suzie Hardy went public with allegations against Seacrest, claiming he abused and harassed her years while she worked for him. He released a statement Wednesday, denying the allegations, just days before the Oscars. Instead of removing Seacrest from the Academy Awards broadcast, E! scrambled and put their red carpet coverage on a 30-second tape delay, in what can be assumed was an attempt to curb any questionable interactions with the guy. Some celebs refused to stop to talk to him altogether.
Unfortunately this won’t be the last time Seacrest is given a microphone and a platform, so let’s hope those who interact with him will conduct themselves with the subtle shade of Henson...and won’t backtrack after the fact.