The details of the sexual misconduct allegations against Ryan Seacrest emerged only on Monday, but their existence already has some calling into question the longtime E! host’s role on the Oscars red carpet. “I think this is the time to step aside and let someone of equal talent that is beyond reproach to be in charge,” Scandal star Bellamy Young told Variety at the A Wrinkle in Time premiere after learning about the accusations.
Variety published the allegations made against Seacrest by accuser Suzie Hardy, who claims the Live With Kelly and Ryan host repeatedly sexually harassed and assaulted her while she was employed at E!, allegedly groping her vagina, grinding his erection on her, and slapping her butt so hard it left bruises. Seacrest denied the charges preemptively back in November. E!, which conducted its own internal investigation, called the allegations “completely baseless.” Continued Young, “I know it feels like the rules have changed, so I’m sure people who have been in dominant positions are taken by surprise.” Says the actress, “Now that someone is asking, do you consent? And we get to say no, people have to accept our no and step aside.”
Update February 27: Young has issued an apology to Seacrest through a statement that reads, in part, “I apologize to Ryan Seacrest. He has been exonerated from the allegations I was told about on the carpet, so my opinion is different now.” Read the full statement here.