Ryan Seacrest is hosting the E! Red Carpet with Giuliana Rancic ahead of the 2018 Oscars. According to Deadline, the network may have considered implementing a “30 second delay” as a way to protect Seacrest from any unwanted comments following the sexual misconduct accusations made against him.
“The plan being considered is to mainly ensure plenty of time to either cut to Giuliana or to pull the plug altogether unnoticed if an on-camera encounter with Ryan goes into tricky territory,” an insider told Deadline ahead of Sunday night’s show.
Since E! films its red carpet segment live, the producers — and even Seacrest himself — can’t predict what might be said or who might make an inappropriate comment to Seacrest about the sexual misconduct claims, a delay might help keep unwanted comments from airing on television. While it is not uncommon for “live” shows to run on a delay (usually it’s just a couple of seconds), a 30-second delay is fairly long and rather uncommon. However, it seems as though E! wanted to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that Seacrest doesn’t find himself on the other side of a loaded question or comment. By implementing a delay, Seacrest will be able to dodge any kind of negativity on air.
“As always, we tape multiple sources of content simultaneously to deliver the best possible show, and there are often brief delays between interviews,” an E! spokesperson told Variety.
At this time, it’s unclear if the show is running on a significant delay or not. A spokesperson told TheWrap that “it’s business as usual,” but also confirmed that there are “brief delays” in the show — which aren’t in any way out of the ordinary.
The discussion started after a woman by the name of Suzie Hardy came forward claiming that Seacrest had treated her inappropriately while she was working as his personal stylist. Hardy was hired for the position at E! back in 2007. Although the allegations were made months ago, a Seacrest denial caused Hardy to come forward, sharing a story that pegs Seacrest as a sexual predator.
Seacrest released the following statement last year when the allegations came to light.
“Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her. If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry. I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result,” Seacrest’s statement read.
“I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that’s core to who I am. Throughout my 25 years in the entertainment industry, the majority of my co-workers have been women, and I’ve endeavored to foster a positive work environment of mutual respect and courtesy, as that’s how I believe it should be. I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I’m proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices,” he added.
Many wondered if E! would still have Seacrest leading the pre-show coverage on March 4, but the network previously said that a full investigation was conducted and that there was no evidence to support Hardy’s claims.