As celebrities arrived for the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday, eyes on E!’s Academy Awards Red Carpet fashion coverage were watching for hosts Ryan Seacrest and Guiliana Rancic.
Earlier in the week, there was concern over whether Seacrest should host after a former stylist accused him of unwanted sexual advances. Seacrest has denied the allegations; and the network decided he would host the show.
Seacrest had supporters, including Khloe Kardashian, on Twitter.
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And he had haters.
Things were slow in the beginning for E! -- the first celebrity to show up by 4:30 was Doug Jones, the longtime character actor who portrays the fish man in “The Shape of Water."
Jones, you may recall, played Abe Sapien in the “Hellboy” movies and Mac Tonight in McDonald’s commercials of years gone by.
Rancic spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the prosthetic butt Jones had to wear for the film. Jones explained the monster suit had to have some attractive human attributes for audience to believe a human could fall in love with him.
It was clear that there was one thing conspicuously missing from E!'s coverage: Fashion.
Seacrest early on talked to singer and actress Sofia Carson, who wore a flowing red gown. Shortly before 5 p.m., songwriter Diane Warren stopped by to talk with Seacrest about her song “Stand Up for Something,” an Oscar nominee from “Marshall.” She said it’s been great to see the song become an anthem for so many causes.
Later, Taraji P. Henson, Whoopi Goldberg and Tiffany Haddish all stopped by to speak with Seacrest, but after they appeared on ABC, which started broadcasting its own Red Carpet coverage prior to the Academy Awards. This is the first year ABC is broadcasting three hours of pre-Oscar coverage with its “Countdown to the Oscars Live!”
Once ABC’s coverage started rolling, E!’s coverage was reduced to looking at photos of celebrities and their dresses. There were also reports about E! using a 30-second delay on Seacrest's interviews, but that was denied.
Speaking of fashion, Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon got a lot of Twitter love with his leather & suspenders ensemble and Jane Fonda smoked in a figure-fitting white gown .
More and more celebrities have waited to arrive once ABC starts its show, which makes sense these days since Disney owns so much of the Hollywood moviemaking apparatus, from its own properties (including ABC), Marvel and possibly Fox, in the coming months.