It's being reported that some actors will boycott Ryan Seacrest on the Oscars red carpet after the host was accused of sexual misconduct by a former E! News stylist. (Seacrest has repeatedly denied these allegations.) So, it's no surprise that Howard Stern wanted to know whether the always-outspoken Jennifer Lawrence would ignore Seacrest at the Oscars on Sunday. But instead of just talking about the red carpet host, Lawrence used the question to call out E!, specifically for reportedly underpaying former E! host Catt Sadler (which is something the network has denied).
According to Perez Hilton, when Stern asked Lawrence about the Seacrest allegations on his radio show, she said,
"I don't know about the Ryan Seacrest thing. I think it is scary, you know. He has not been to trial for anything. I am not a judge. I am not a jury, you know.”
On Monday, it came to light that Seacrest's former personal stylist Suzie Hardy accused him of years of unwanted alleged sexual aggression and advances, according to Variety. Seacrest has denied the allegations, first in a statement from his attorney, which pointed out that the network's "independent third-party investigation had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support her claims, effectively, clearing my client’s name."
Back in November, E! launched an internal investigation into Seacrest's behavior after word spread that there were allegations about him, though the nature of the allegations was not public at the time. Earlier this month, E! completed the investigation and, as Seacrest's attorney cited, found "insufficient evidence to support" the claims. In a statement, a spokesperson told Bustle:
"E!’s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough. Over the course of a two month process, our outside counsel interviewed more than two dozen people regarding the allegations, including multiple separate meetings with the claimant and all firsthand witnesses that she provided. The investigator is an attorney with nearly 20 years experience and is highly regarded professionally. Any claims that question the legitimacy of this investigation are completely baseless.”
After Variety's report was published on Monday, Seacrest denied the claims again in a personal statement. He wrote:
"I don't want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth but in this case, I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me, remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing, and put the matter to rest."
Shortly after, Hardy released her own statement, refuting what Seacrest had said. "He is not the victim," she told Variety, "and I refuse to let him victimize me for telling the truth."
According to the Perez Hilton, Lawrence called it a "tricky" situation when it comes to Seacrest, but did say there was a chance she would decide to skip an interview with the host. “Umm, I don’t know,” she reportedly told Stern. “I mean there is a lot to think about with E!, you know?”
Lawrence then continued to air her grievances with the network, noting that she's had a problem with Fashion Police in the past. "I don’t have a problem with talking about what women are wearing," she explained. "There was a time there where, they were just mean, about people’s bodies, things you shouldn’t say.” (When Bustle reached out about Lawrence's remarks, E! declined to comment.)
It was then that she mentioned Sadler, who reportedly left the network over a pay disparity in December. According to Perez Hilton, Lawrence told Stern,
“I have noticed that they keep cycling these women and I am going... is that so you don’t have to pay another women equally to Jason [Kennedy]? Is this just a way to still maintain that you are not paying women equally?”
In a statement to Huffington Post, E! previously denied Sadler's claim and said that the network "compensates employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender."
It should be noted that Lawrence is currently working on a #TimesUp inspired TV series with Sadler, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The docu-series will reportedly take a deep dive into the gender pay gap in Hollywood and beyond. Based on that, it would make sense that Lawrence would be standing up for her business partner.
While Lawrence wasn't afraid to speak her mind about E!, she wouldn't officially say whether she would skip Seacrest on the carpet. According to Hollywood Life, she only told Stern, “There are already [news] outlets that I am just like, ‘nah,’ so it wouldn’t be that big of a deal” if she ignored him, too.
Suffice to say, if Lawrence doesn't stop to talk to Seacrest, it may be more about the network itself than the host. Fans will have to wait until Sunday to see what happens.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include E!'s latest statement about the Seacrest investigation.