One of the biggest questions leading up to today’s Oscars red carpet was how on earth celebrities would deal with E!‘s new problem child, Ryan Seacrest.
The 43-year-old American Idol host and long-term red carpet presenter was only last week making headlines after his former stylist Suzie Hardy claimed she was subjected to sexual abuse and harassment for years.
The single mum, who was hired in 2006 by E!, claimed she endured aggressive touching and groping – including Seacrest grinding his erect penis against her, and in another instance, grabbing her vagina – but she said she remained quiet for fear of losing her job. When she eventually reported the alleged abuse in 2013 to HR, she said she was fired.
Juuuust in time for the 90th Academy Awards.
With E! choosing to stand by Seacrest and keep him on the red carpet, the world was bracing to watch him walk into a lion's den.
And at first, he remained unscathed. It seemed female stars were choosing to stay away from him. That or he purposefully kept his distance.
He wound up interviewing only a small handful of women, including Mary J. Blige, Whoopi Goldberg and Allison Janney. And E!'s red carpet coverage largely was quite tame, with most of the commentary coming from the talking heads on the fashion desk.
But then Hidden Figures star Taraji P. Henson came along and suddenly threw the shadiest of shade a person could possibly muster.
The interview was going swimmingly until Seacrest asked Henson how she felt about Mary J. Blige's two Oscar nominations. It became clear she had only one thing on her mind, and she didn't mince words.
“You know, the universe has a way of taking care of the good people,” she said, tilting her head and literally tapping her hand on his chin. “You know what I mean?” she asked, narrowing her eyes at him.
Holy shit Taraji just put a curse on Ryan Seacrest ???? pic.twitter.com/GSknn3NozF
— Sara Jean Hughes (@sarajeanhughes) March 5, 2018
And, oh, it did not end there.
Because after moving on from the interview, she gleefully continued her trail of Seacrest destruction.
"I'm great now that I'm in your company," she told the very next interviewer, ABC’s Wendi Mclendon-Covey when she asked how she was.
"I'm great now that I'm in your company." --Taraji P. Henson to the interviewer who talked to her right after Ryan Seacrest
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) March 5, 2018
Safe to say, this just about ruined Seacrest's night. A short time later, viewers saw he was whisked off the red carpet a touch earlier than normal.
And you'll notice... Seacrest didn't post a photo with her. Make of that what you will.
LISTEN: Clare Stephens recounts the week she spent conducting interviews on the red carpet.