Taraji P. Henson has responded to claims that she shaded Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet at the 2018 Oscars. Twitter went into overdrive after the actress was interviewed by Ryan as she arrived for the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday night, following a claim of sexual misconduct against the E! host. "The universe has a way of taking care of good people," Taraji told Ryan, as she touched him on the chin. "You know what I mean?" Viewers quickly took to social media to speculate about her comments – particularly given that Taraji later told ABC's Wendi Mclendon-Covey, "I'm great now that I'm in your company."
Taraji P. Henson has responded to claims she shaded Ryan Seacrest at the 2018 Oscars
The Empire star, 47, has now addressed the furore surrounding her interview with Ryan, telling People that her remarks were "misconstrued". "I did it to keep his chin up," she said. "It's an awkward position to be in. He's been cleared but anyone can say anything." Asked directly whether she supported the 43-year-old TV presenter, Taraji simply replied: "Absolutely."
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Ryan has also since addressed the incident on Twitter. Sharing a photo from his interview with the actress, he wrote: "Nothing but love for my friend @TherealTaraji. Thanks for hanging out with us on the #ERedCarpet #Oscars."
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There were certainly mixed reactions on social media to the red carpet interview; while many thought Taraji was throwing shade at Ryan, others saw her comments as a show of support. "I can't believe Taraji P Henson destroyed Ryan Seacrest on national television," one viewer tweeted, while another added: "Ryan Seacrest agrees with Taraji P. Henson that the universe takes care of the good people. The irony is stunning." However, other fans pointed out that the pair shared a hug at the end of the interview, with one writing: "I didn't really feel like Taraji Henson was showing shade at Ryan Seacrest. I felt like it was the opposite."