E! has come under a lot of fire in the past week as details of the allegations against Ryan Seacrest emerged and the network insisted they were standing by their guy for their Oscars red carpet. That blaze became an inferno Sunday night as Twitter exploded against the network and Seacrest even before their red carpet coverage began.
It wasn't all hate for the network, though, as Kris Jenner was quick to come to his defense -- which shouldn't come as a huge surprise considering what his involvement has done for the Kardashian empire -- on Twitter, writing, "Oscar Sunday wouldn't be the same without Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic!!"
Seacrest denied the allegations, and an internal investigation cleared him, but many feel that the network should have still erred on the side of caution in an awards season that has been sensitive about sexual harassment and the emerging #TimesUp and #MeToo movements.
MeToo founder Tarana Burke spoke with Variety on Saturday night, where she said of E!, "They really shouldn't send him. We shouldn't have to make those choices of, 'Do we or don't we?'" Many stars indicated they would avoid Seacrest on the carpet.
"This is not about his guilt or innocence," Burke continued. "It's about there being an accusation that's alive, and until they sort it out, it's really on E! News and shouldn't be on us. … It will let us know where they stand in terms of how respectful E! News is of this issue – and of women."
As for the how the network is handling it, Variety reported E! intended to implement a 30-second delay for the first time on the red carpet so they have time to curb any potential backlash against Seacrest from an outspoken celebrity (as we saw at the Golden Globes). The network is also under fire recently for firing a producer reportedly for allowing Catt Sadler commentary to make it on the air during their Golden Globes coverage, per People.
All of these controversies have soured many on the network and their support of Seacrest, sending his name up the trending topics on Twitter even before the network's red carpet coverage had begun. The vitriol was intense from many, and it only intensified as the show got underway and he chatted with various stars and nominees like Allison Janney, Andy Serkis and Donald Sutherland. He did seem to be talking more with men than women, which may be indicative of who was willing to stop and chat with him.
I am confused by this #ERedCarpet. Ryan Seacrest, who has been accused of workplace sexual misconduct, is on the red carpet. His female counterparts are across the street in less-prominent roles. #Oscars
The #ERedCarpet for the #Oscars is a hot mess because they have Guiliana stuck at some hotel in Siberia, and a 30-second delay to protect Ryan Seacrest from #Metoo #TimesUp confrontations. Not a good look, @ENews.
Despite the recent allegations, Ryan Seacrest is still holding on to his No. 1 spot for E! at the top of the red carpet. Giuliani Rancic is standing about 60 feet behind him, a less desirable spot for celebrity wrangling. #Oscars
Awkward TV moment -> E! host Kristen Santos, next to Guiliana Rancic, praises #MeToo and #TimesUp movements in Hollywood and calls out the industry for women directors making up 4% — then the two women toss to Ryan Seacrest on red carpet.