As previously reported, the “Empire” star was one of the few famous women who did stop for the E! host, despite a recent investigation into the sexual misconduct allegation brought by former E! stylist Suzie Hardy.
He was cleared of the claim following an internal investigation, however, many assumed that Taraji came for Ryan on the red carpet when she told him, “The universe has a way of taking care of good people.” She touched him on the chin, before adding, “You know what I mean?”
The claims gathered steam when Taraji told reporter Wendi McLendon-Covey for ABC: “I’m great now that I’m in your company.”
Twitter quickly filled with kudos and memes lauding Taraji for her apparent stand. But the actress has since clarified to People that her comments were “misconstrued,” adding: “I did it to keep his chin up. It’s an awkward position to be in. He’s been cleared but anyone can say anything.”
And when asked if she supports Ryan, Taraji replied “absolutely.”
Ryan later returned the love and shared a screenshot of himself interviewing the actress alongside the caption: “Nothing but love for my friend @TherealTaraji. Thanks for hanging out with us on the #ERedCarpet! #Oscars.”
Also, someone on Twitter provided the end of Taraji’s interview with Ryan as proof that no bad blood exists.
Meanwhile, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke was not having Seacrest’s red carpet presence.
“They really shouldn’t send him (to the Oscars),” she told Variety. “We shouldn’t have to make those choices of, ‘Do we or don’t we?’” she said, referring to the notion that actresses and actors would have to decide whether or not to engage with Seacrest in the wake of the allegations.
“This is not about his guilt or innocence,” Burke said. “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.”
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