Ryan Seacrest's former 'American Idol' co-host Brian Dunkleman calls him out amid harassment scandal
By Gibson Johns, AOL.com
Mar 19th, 2019 at 12:51PM
Ryan Seacrest's former "American Idol" co-host Brian Dunkleman called him out on Twitter amid Seacrest's ongoing sexual harassment scandal.
On Saturday, in a tweet that went curiously under the radar ahead of the 2018 Oscars, Dunkleman alluded to the allegations against Seacrest -- which he has continuously denied -- in very thinly-veiled language.
"Even sadder than pushing someones head in your crotch while they tie your shoes is anyone over the age of 5 having someone tie their shoes," Dunkleman wrote.
Suzie Hardy, a former E! stylist who worked with Seacrest for years, accused her former colleague of sexual harassment in the workplace, including an instance during which she alleges that while she was tying Seacrest's shoes, he pushed her face onto his penis while he was wearing underwear.
Photos of Brian Dunkleman:
The former television personality also retweeted a Mashable tweet about Taraji P. Henson's comment to Seacrest that was initially read as shading him. He later quoted Seacrest's "almost showtime" tweet ahead of the Oscars red carpet and asked, "How's it going so far?"
Dunkleman, who hosted the first season of "Idol" alongside Seacrest for its first season, fired off the tweet one day ahead of the 90th Annual Academy Awards, before which Seacrest controversially manned E!'s "Live From the Red Carpet" coverage. Despite many calling for E! to sideline their go-to red carpet host, the network has remained firmly behind Seacrest, who also co-created one of the network's most successful shows of all-time, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."
The network launched an internal third party investigation into Hardy's accusations at the end of last year and found no evidence of wrongdoing on Seacrest's part.
On the red carpet, none of the stars nominated for Best Actress stopped to talk to Seacrest, which never would've happened in previous years. The "Live With Kelly and Ryan" star asked celebrities who did stop to talk to him a grand total of zero questions about #MeToo and Time's Up, both of which had dominated the conversation around the awards season leading up to the Oscars.
Likely as a result of the controversy around the allegations against him, Seacrest's red carpet coverage saw a stunning 43% drop in ratings from 2017.
In addition to his fiery tweet, Dunkleman is also the subject of a growing online Care2 petition calling for him to replace Seacrest as the host of the upcoming revival of "American Idol" on ABC -- the same network that aired both the Academy Awards and "Live." The petition has over 4,600 of its 5,000 signature goal.
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