This year’s Oscars ceremony had the expected mix of political talks and splendor, with one particular moment being more prominent than the others. Once on the red carpet, actress Taraji P. Henson was guided to Ryan Seacrest, and she had a direct message for him.
Ryan Seacrest is yet another celebrity name to come under fire after his former stylist Suzie Hardy claimed that Seacrest abused her for years, at one point grinding his aroused manhood against her, groping her privates, and even slapping her buttocks so hard that it left a large red mark.
Seacrest has denied these allegations. Suzie worked with Seacrest between 2007 and 2013. At the end of her contract, according to Variety, Hardy reported Seacrest’s actions, but her employment was terminated afterward.
When approached by Ryan Seacrest on the Red Carpet, Taraji P. Henson had a very covert but chilling message for the man. After some awkward small talk, Taraji spoke up, immediately changing her tone by saying with a hint of spite: “You know, the universe has a way of taking care of the good people,” after which she gave him a prompt nudge on the chin, followed by the words “You know what I mean?” Seacrest looked like he was left speechless but managed to respond with “I agree.”
These allegations are telling of the current climate of change in Hollywood after the New York Times first broke the story of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which has subsequently sparked the MeToo, and Time’s Up movements for people standing together in unity against these violations, abuses, and inequality in the workplace. After her interview with Seacrest, Taraji P. Henson spoke with ABC host Wendi McLendon-Covey who asked her, “How are you doing?” Taraji responded with a bit of sass, “I’m great now that I’m in your company.”
Despite these actions, a few days later, Taraji P. Henson denied throwing any shade toward Seacrest by telling reporters at People: “I did it to keep his chin up. It’s an awkward position to be in,” Henson told People. “He’s been cleared, but anyone can say anything.” Seacrest tweeted out at the Oscars on his Twitter account (@RyanSeacrest), saying, “Nothing but love for my friend Taraji. Thanks for hanging out with us on the E. Red Carpet!”
Seacrest’s E! Interviews were rough at the Oscars, with all five Best Actress nominees avoiding him on the carpet. According to The Daily Mail, many of the celebrities stopping to interview Ryan were old friends and colleagues, a stark contrast to his talks with A-List celebrities at the Oscars in 2017. Reporter Amy Kaufman took an impromptu photo of Seacrest on the red carpet and uploaded it to her Twitter account (@AmyKinLA). In the photo, Seacrest stands behind a rope away from the red carpet, a position that normally is reserved for other reporters. Kaufman remarked in her Tweet: “His team was not pleased when I took a photo of him.”
Despite these allegations, Seacrest denied everything in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, saying, “Sadly, last fall I became one of the accused, which I promptly revealed proactively to the network involved and to the public, and to be equally clear, those accusations were then investigated by an independent third-party over the course of a two-month process and involved dozens of interviews that included me, the accuser and countless others. Ultimately, my name was cleared. I eagerly participated in the investigation in order to demonstrate my innocence because I know my truth, and I believe in due process.” Taraji P. Henson was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button in 2009 but ultimately lost to Kate Winslet for The Reader.