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TROUBLES Seacrests worst red carpet ever

Ryan Seacrest, immersed in scandal over sexual-assault allegations, decided to present E!’s Oscars red-carpet coverage. Sadly for him, big-name celebrities were not playing along.
Just released:

At 7:53 p.m. on Oscar night, Ryan Seacrest slinked back to the Roosevelt Hotel, where his E! Live From the Red Carpet co-anchor Giuliana Rancic was stationed beside the swimming pool—looking, like the watching audience at home, that she may at any moment begin screaming out of boredom and bemusement.

“Was there a lot of green?” Seacrest asked of the red-carpet dresses Rancic and Co. had been analyzing for far too long, and far too laboriously, as if they were discussing the secrets of the Sphinx. Even if you liked fashion, you yearned for them to discuss anything else. Maybe toe fungus.

Also, Seacrest had been on the red carpet, right? He would know if his Green Oscars Gown Thesis had been proven right.

But this wasn’t an ordinary night on the red carpet for scandal-hit Seacrest, and he was likely grateful to be back at the hotel.

“There were legends on the red carpet and young people too,” he brightly reported to Rancic. But Tiffany Haddish had been his standout, “150 percent the whole way.”

“You did such a great job,” Rancic lied to her co-anchor.

Seacrest had not done a great job, he had done an excruciating one. If you want to know how excruciating, compare the flood of celebrities talking to ABC, compared to the trickle that stopped to speak to him. E!’s red-carpet show stop-started along for three terrible, painfully slow hours.

If you watched this strange mess on E!, congratulations: You have more strength than a Tough Mudder competitor. Unless it was intended as a piece of nihilistic performance art inspired by Samuel Beckett, it can be widely deemed to be a fail.

Seacrest was stationed more defiantly than he ever has been on the red carpet. Both E! and ABC, on which he co-anchors Live! with Kelly Ripa, are disregarding (or ignoring on-air at least) the controversy around allegations of sexual assault that are swirling around him, and what he did or didn’t do to former stylist Suzie Hardy.

An E! investigation completed on Feb. 1 “found insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest and therefore could not be substantiated.” Seacrest strongly denies what he has been accused of. It is now essentially a he-said, she-said.

To find the Seacrest Oscars farrago painful isn’t to presume his guilt, it’s to question the wisdom of him and the networks that support him to put Seacrest squarely into public view when #MeToo and #TimesUp are the predominant cultural themes of the moment.

Seacrest and his supporters set him up for an exercise of personal power and prestige, rather than humiliation, thinking the latter would not befall him. It did. That says a lot about a certain amount of ego and arrogance on the part of Team Seacrest, especially as they were implicitly defying the principles of #MeToo and #TimesUp, too.

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