Variety reports that E! is considering airing its broadcast from the Oscars red carpet with a 30-second delay. The network calls the decision “business as usual,” but the Hollywood Reporter and others are noting that this would protect host Ryan Seacrest in the event that a celebrity dodges him (gossip fodder all day) or that sexual assault allegations against him arise. If one would like to hear about that, one would flip over to NBC, where the “Access” squad has been instructed to ask every interviewee whether they will talk to Seacrest.
Seacrest was the subject of a sexual misconduct investigation by E! last fall, which was deemed inconclusive. Recently, Variety obtained the letter in which his former stylist Suzie Hardy had detailed harassment which escalated to aggression. Both Hardy and a coworker attested that he slapped her buttock, grabbed her vulva, and assaulted her:
According to separate accounts from both, Seacrest, again in his underwear, this time with a visible erection, grabbed Hardy, threw her onto the hotel-room bed, and climbed on top of her, rubbing his erection against her — stopping only when Hardy’s co-worker began yelling at him.
Seacrest has called it a “salacious story.” E! “will not confirm the delay,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. “As always, we tape multiple sources of content simultaneously to deliver the best possible show, and there are often brief delays between interviews,” a spokesperson says.