There were many stunning dresses and adorable couple embraces last night on the Oscars red carpet, but the first truly show-stopping moment came during a brief exchange between Ryan Seacrest and Taraji P. Henson.
The Empire star stopped to speak with Seacrest, whose night was made a little more manageable by a 30-second delay in the broadcast. See, Seacrest was accused of sexual misconduct by his former stylist Suzie Hardy last year. But after an investigation by E! found “insufficient evidence to support the claims” against him, Seacrest took up his regular post at the pre-awards show. Last night, there were disgruntled viewers who felt the allegations should have put some kind of dent in his career, given the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, and took this ominous utterance from Henson to mean she was in agreement.
After Henson told Seacrest “You know what? The universe has a way of taking care of the good people,” he took a beat before responding, “I agree.” You can’t see the chin pinch the erstwhile Cookie Lyon gave Seacrest in the above GIF, but it looked downright damning during the broadcast, especially once word broke that Henson reportedly expressed relief at speaking with someone other than the longtime American Idol host.
But it looks like the Proud Mary star’s badass on-screen reputation might have sent imaginations running wild, because Henson told People her words to the E! mainstay have been “misconstrued.” The Oscar nominee said she “did it to keep his chin up. He’s been cleared but anyone can say anything.” When People asked Henson if she supports Seacrest, she said “absolutely.”