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OSCARS 2018: Empire’s Taraji P. Henson Clarifies She Was Not Dissing Ryan Seacrest On The Red Carpet!

Photo: RSeacrestTwitter

When Empire star, Taraji P. Henson (Cookie) took to the 90th Oscars Red Carpet on Sunday, and chatted with E’s Ryan Seacrest, the Twitterverse assumed she had dissed him during their on-camera conversation given the allegations that surfaced from his ex-stylist claiming he subjected her to “years of unwanted sexual aggression.”

E! previously announced that after an independent investigator was hired to look into her claims that they found “insufficient evidence” of any wrongdoing by Seacrest.  The usual Oscars red carpet coverage by Seacrest seemed to be hindered where he was only able to chat with over a dozen people.

When Henson talked with Seacrest she touched him under his chin and said, “You know what? The universe has a way of taking care of the good people. You know what I mean?””  Later Henson clarified that she was actually telling Ryan to keep his chin up when she spoke with PEOPLE.

Taraji revealed she “absolutely” supports Seacrest, adding the touch on the chin was done because: “I did it to keep his chin up. It’s an awkward position to be in. He’s been cleared, but anyone can say anything.”  There was more to the Seacrest and Henson exchange that people didn’t initially see, which ended in a hug.

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Adding fuel to the original diss was following her conversation with Seacrest, Henson told ABC’ s Wendi McLendon-Covey, “I’m great now that I’m in your company,” 

So, what do you think of Henson’s comments? How Seacrest has been judged thus far on the accusations against him?  Comment below!

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Carol
Carol

It seems people have to go to great lengths to explain their every word and action nowadays.

Jimh
Jimh

So true…

su0000
su0000

I am totally opposed to radical political correctness..
The liberals take it way way way too far.
Political correctness is not needed what is needed is for parents to teach their children kindness and manners , how to carry ‘mouth’ dignity…

Anyways; I tuned in for about 15mins.. yuck.. it was not the oscars of prestige as it once was it was a platform for their grievances …………………
Instead of graciously accepting their awards they had need to junk it with their causes.
The oscars is not the place for stump speeches.. It was a bit radical lol

I am all for the cause/movement but not for them to be the platform of the Oscar ceremony.

So– I quickly tunes out ..

dmr
dmr

I agree, su0000. Yet, Liberals still hold their beloved Bill Clinton near and dear to their hearts….

me
me

Stereotyping entire groups of people (“the liberals”) as if they all act the same is ignorant.

Fanny
Fanny

@su0000, totally agree with you Su.

rose
rose

suoooo…Don’t know what you consider “radical” political correctness, even though I do admit to getting tired of hearing about all the abuse allegations everyday, no matter where they are coming from.

It’s one of reasons I didn’t watch the Academy Awards anymore. I just want to be entertained in the same way I want my soaps to be love and adventure in the afternoon. (And I can handle some Corrintos, just not soooo much.)

Do remember what may have been the first “protest”…Marlon Brando had a Native American woman pick up his award for best actor. Plus another reason I don’t watch is that I haven’t seen all of the movies, or know all of the actors, etc. And it goes on too long.

But I am concerned about those being branded guilty until really proven they have committed what they are accused of. I’m sure this has happened to some in the long list of abuse and power-trippers. But glad the Olympic gymnastics coach was convicted.

As for parents teaching kindness, etc, totally agree. But not all parents will, are doing this, or know all of “the secret lives of teens” or we wouldn’t see all of the bullying we are seeing. Also everyone, not just parents are up against what seems a new-low-norm in political un-correctness being accepted from campaign language, to D.C., to social media.

Celia
Celia

Amazing post, SuzieQ…..I am as open-minded as one can be ( liberal in theory; practical at heart), but unprincipled ‘ideals’ brought on stage is uncalled for…..especially for those who have no education or a clue about politics and what makes it tick. Most, as Jennifer Lawrence, or even Barbra Streisand, spew nonsense, which only manifests their ignorance.
Being a celebrity does not a genius make.
I used to love the Oscars….my siblings and I would get all our snacks together ( started as kids) awaiting THE OSCARS with excitement….now, these “stars’ ( who don’t shine), are a kill-joy!!
Do they honestly think this unwanted venom serves them well? Personalities and politics do not mix. They should adhere to their profession. If they want to indulge and dive, headlong, into the political forum, then they should remove themselves from the entertainment business and run for a seat in Congress.
We get enough news EVERYWHERE….some of us want to escape the overwheming fodder thrown at us, and THE OSCARS once fulfilled that ….no more….nowhere to run…

rose
rose

I don’t like any awards or soaps being a place to do more than just entertain. But as some would say “that ship has sailed.” Especially with social media and the number of media outlets and “experts.”

So to those who would discount the opinions of celebrities, or maybe even the Florida kids, or anyone one else because to some they may have “unprincipled ideals, or no experience, or no clue about politics” in some eyes is almost funny.

Look at who some voted into office this last election…known by many from a tv show with no political experience. And if I remember right some voted for this person because they didn’t want a “professional politician.” But for many others is known for stories of unprincipled business deals, not paying bills, negative words and actions during the campaign you wouldn’t want to teach your kids that haven’t stopped, and possible other ladies.

Big time difference about leadership from the bio movie from the entertainment industry that did win the Academy Award…Churchill.

So I guess it’s a new world in reaching people with a message. Personally I am not on social media sites for reasons of my own. But when you have the podium at a once-a-year event like awards ceremonies you take advantage of it to counter numerous of what many consider questionable tweets everyday that get picked up and replayed all day long in the media…until some are “revised.”

Ray
Ray

I couldn’t help but feel this was a media-fueled issue. I am for EVERY Harvey Weinstein-type out there to get their punishment. There have been times I question whether the media dn Hollywood are picking/choosing their targets.

Billy Bush has to be the most bitter human being on the planet. All he did was conduct an interview and was associated with a story from more than 10 years ago. Next, he loses his job at NBC, while his subject went on to become President of the US.

Al Franken admitted his wrong-doings, resigned from his position, yet he still had supporters from “SNL.”

With Ryan Seacrest, I think he seems like a great guy, but that is all I know. We do not know these people away from their public persona. I hope it is not true because he has built a great empire. I do not think Taraji would make a nasty comment about him because I believe she is close friends with Kelly Ripa. I am glad Kelly has been so supportive. It had to be incredibly hurtful to be on the carpet and be avoided by celebrities that he will have to face again on “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”

Thumbs up to Taraji. Chin up to Ryan. If you are innocent, the people who avoided you last night are the losers.

Celia
Celia

I did not watch, Ray…..just the odd ad; news etc…..but, I appreciate your honest appraisal of what is what. No frills, no bias…just the facts. TY.

brian
brian

I have always thought Taraji P. Henson is one CLASS ACT ! and the would not diss anyone !

brian
brian

typo ! I meant to say “and that she would not diss anyone !”

Timmm
Timmm

Everyone who talked to Ryan, coffee is on me. BECAUSE, until there is proof that he misbehaved inappropriately, to me, its just another BIMBO trying to get 15 minutes and a payout! God Bless you Ryan Seacrest!

k/kay
k/kay

Well it killed one of the best actors in daytime’s career all they had to do was throw the rumor out there and poof he was gone. I have a friend who has a successful radio show he will not step on a elevator alone with a woman

k/kay
k/kay

I think it has happened it has been going on for years I also think we have false accusations thrown around and Hollywood is the last place you look for answers.

Timmm
Timmm

kay, women are wonderful BUT today it just seems like there is no energy in the room anymore to meet and mingle. I just go about my business, enjoy my job and keep my mouth shut!

jeffrie
jeffrie

exactly!!!

dmr
dmr

Exactly. It’s an easy way to make a buck these days, cry sexual harassment. You don’t need proof, just an allegation, and you receive a hefty settlement to go away. It’s sad because these women take away from those that have been brutally abused, assaulted, attacked and no longer have a voice or platform. In today’s world, you are guilty until proven innocent.

Timmm
Timmm

Thats so true, this finger pointing has watered down what was once major compassion towards abuse. Now, we all wonder unless the abuse is obvious.

rebecca1
rebecca1

well then there’s also the case of Bill Cosby who, even though, scores of women have accused him still went on to a successful career! It’s because of attitudes of people who don’t believe women, even when they’re in numbers, that people are afraid to speak out. As for Muhney, if he were innocent there’d be many of his co-workers rushing to his defense and he would have sued for defamation.

As for Seacrest? I always liked him. He’s likeable, charming, attractive. But then again I always liked Mel Gibson until I heard the anti-semitic garbage that came out of his mouth.

I don’t think we should assume we know a public figure because we “like” him or her. Unless the accuser is proved to be a liar I accept that she could be telling the truth.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Or, to be more accurate, I accept that I don’t KNOW the truth and therefore don’t take sides…(and, of course, if I like the actor I’d prefer it to be proven false).

dmr
dmr

rebecca1-There are cases like that of Cosby or Weinstein (and many, many more) that are legitimate. I don’t have any bias towards Ryan Seacrest, or really, any male figure in Hollywood. It just grows tiresome that you can’t turn on the television these days without a new allegation from 5, 10, 15-plus years ago without any substantial proof. It just seems that with the on-slaught of allegations, some (not all) of the allegations are questionable. Again, I think it takes away from those women who have been severely abused, assaulted, brutalized, and harassed. You know who I was really disappointed in, Matt Lauer. I always felt as though I was having breakfast with Matt and Savannah each morning. Just goes to show you, you never know what happens behind closed doors (literally). Awful.

Celia
Celia

Yes, dmr….lest we forget the young men who, also, are victims to sexual harrassment….straight and gay.
My very ‘bestest’ friend, and Godfather to my son, ( who is gay) had his ups and downs, as did some of my straight friends.
I think many of us experienced sexual harassment in some form or another.
As far as I am concerned, lewd comments about one’s body, specifically the bosom ( I simply did not tolerste that—sick, especially for those men who have daughters) is not only sexual harassment, but also sexist. No touching necessary…words are just as bad.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hi dmr…I think that’s the problem. Unless people have witnesses it’s a he said/she said and that’s very unfortunate; regardless if its’ the woman who was really abused or the man falsely accused. However, the reason allegations are coming out as you say, “5, 10, 15 plus” years later (or from ago as you said) is BECAUSE women weren’t believed, their careers were ruined if they dared speak out; their reputations sullied. Even in today’s day and age fans of Michael Muhney couldn’t believe that he could possibly do what the actress accused him of. Why? Because he’s a fan favorite on their soap? I think it took great courage for a young actress to come out and speak her truth (which was backed up by several co-workers if I remember correctly). With that said it was left ambiguous but it must have been serious enough for the network to side with her rather than fire her instead of him. It IS crazy the amount of allegations that are coming out…and disheartening. I, too,was shocked about Matt Lauer. Ryan Seacrest, too. But there were accusations and denials regarding Michael Jackson and so many others going way back (what really shocked me? Stephen Collins who played many a Lifetime movie and played a pedophile priest in one and then confessed he had sex with underage girls in real life and was a sex addict!!!!)…it’s all over the place!! And it’s not just Hollywood. It’s in corporate America, it’s in government, from Bill Clinton to pedophile Moore to the “wife-beater” Rob Porter. Physical sexual abuse seems to abound. So, maybe Ryan is innocent. I truly hope so. But we really can’t be sure. I wouldn’t jump to call women “bimbos” as was posted above or assume that each time a favorite celeb is accused that the woman is lying. Not saying she isn’t, but until/if we know it’s problematic. When its’ SO obvious like the Cosby, O’Reilly or Weinstein case when several to many women speak out against the same man there’s obviously some truth to it. ( which is why it ASTOUNDS me that Cosby got away with it…so many women!!!!!) I had an “experience” myself. Haven’t thought of it in years but it did freak me out at the time. I was in my 20s and working in the theatre district in NY. I was in a producer’s office (who was in his 50s) and asking him about some assignment I had and he backed me against the desk and tried to stick his tongue down my throat! I must’ve ducked to the side…can’t even remember but I kinda laughed it off and must have “lectured” him in my way (LOL) and we were “cool.” But I NEVER would have thought of telling someone or starting anything because I was young and just starting out in the creative realm (going on to publishing) and he was well-known and very respected. Just wouldn’t/didn’t do anything about it. But it was awkward… Read more »

Scott
Scott

I find this really hard to believe..Ryan Seacrest??? he couldn’t hold on to Julianne Hough….isn’t he gay???? Just amazes me, how some men lost their jobs and livelihood over allegations, but Seacrest was cleared in, what? a day? I’m not saying the men guilty didn’t deserve what they got, but he must have forked over a lot of money to kill this story….maybe he had help from Simon Cowell or Randy Jackson….just sayin!!!!

Steve
Steve

Ryan could easily clear this up with a frank conversation about who he is. This is 2018 after all.

Celia
Celia

You really think Seacrest is gay, Steve? I don’t know….this is one guy who has me baffled. If he is, why is he fighting it? As you say, this is 2018…. a new world….
I, also, wanted to point out that there are lascivious perverts—-usually older men; just as there are women who tell untruths and cry rape.
As dmr states; it’s easy money, while someone’s reputation is shot to death.
….or, they do it for attention, while those who are truly victims may not be believed because of women who are mendacious.
I know doctors ( male and female) who always make sure there’s an assistant in the exam room with them….whether it’s a male or female patient. It’s scary, when you think about it.

Celia
Celia

You make a good, sound argument, Scott…..Not to speak ill of the dead, but so did Michael J…..the payoff was astronomical.

Ravello
Ravello

I have never been a fan but think Ryan is being framed, by an accuser looking for a payday. Me too has jumped the shark. It is the new version of a staged slip and fall. Some people will lie, cheat, fabricate a story with no regard for the individual being accused.
I’m also pretty sure Ryan is gay.
I fear this won’t end well for him.

I’m sick to death of the Hollywood award shows. I no longer watch, cannot stand celebrities pontificating and preaching. Ratings continue to fall, more and more viewers are just turned off.

Charday
Charday

This is the first year since I was a wee little one that I haven’t watched the Oscars or the red carpet. I just wasn’t feeling it….at all! And I don’t regret it.

Karen R
Karen R

I didn’t watch it either. I always looked forward to it, to see what the women were wearing and have a few laughs. I stopped last year, they have got way to political and it is no longer enjoyable. If I want to watch politics I’ll watch a news channel.

diane
diane

That’s what I took away from that exchange. She was trying to give him some encouragement and people have to make into what they want it to be about!! I loved her on Person of Interest. She is one classy lady!!

JONNYSBRO
JONNYSBRO

What kills me are people are lambasting Seacrest with zero proof but they cheered Kobe who is a convicted rapist.

fginaspypy
fginaspypy

Michael Fairman I am surprised you did not post an article about Alison Janney’s Oscar win for supporting actress. You usually give such big love to former day timers’ acknowledgement in film, primetime and theatre.

Empire

‘Empire’ Series Finale Brings Lyon Family Together; While Many Viewers Dissatisfied Over Makeshift Ending

Following Tuesday’s night series finale of Empire, which featured once again, brilliant performances from Taraji P. Henson (Cookie) and Terrence DaShon Howard (Luscious), many longtime viewers took to social media unsatisfied with its conclusion.  However, it should be noted that the shows producers did their best to use the footage they had in the can to craft something they hoped would be meaningful.

As previously reported, due to COVID-19, Empire had shot 18 episodes and a half of episode 19, of their 20 season order, when they were forced to shut down production.  Thus, the set-up and focus of the finale had to be significantly changed.

If you have not seen last night’s finale and plan to watch, do  not read any further for spoilers.

In an episode entitled “Home is On The Way,” which now makes complete sense post-viewing, Cookie and Luscious throughout trials, tribulations, realizations, deaths, and wrestling back control of the company, find their way back to each other.  Throughout the episode, viewers are treated to flashbacks of the duo’s long and twisted history – the good, the bad, the ugly, the dirty, and the nasty.

Photo: FOX

To get them back together, the series had to figure out what to do to with Yana, the musical protege with whom Luscious was involved with.  Backstage at a major concert event, Yana realizes that Luscious is not going to come on the world tour with her, because he still deeply loves Cookie.  He does not deny it.  When Yana’s father, Damon sees her backstage in what looks like she is hugging and all into Luscious, he pulls out a gun.  When we come back from commercial, we learn Yana was shot and killed, sending Damon on a spiral to get Luscious once and for all.

Following the shooting, Lucious tries to cancel the premiere of Hakeem’s Lyon legacy movie over concerns for the safety of his entire family,  but the Andre of old steps up and says they won’t let fear force the family to do that.

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Earlier in the episode, Luscious had previously requested that in the event something should happen to him to please get a special letter he wrote to Cookie, where he opens up about his feelings for her.  When Cookie gets the letter, it is juxtaposed with the Luscious vs. Damon showdown; which Luscious ultimately wins when he clubs Damon over the head with his own prosthetic leg.

Photo: FOX

With the threat to their ultimate happiness eliminated, the series ends with the entire family attending the premiere party of the film Birth of an Empire, where Hakeem performs a rap, “The Oath,” as an ode to the Lyon legacy. The  lyrics of the song detail Cookie and Luscious’ family story and flashbacks from all six seasons are used throughout the rap.  Then came how to deal with the missing Jussie Smollett and the character of Jamal Lyon in said flashbacks.

While Luscious, Cookie, Andre and Hakeem’s flashbacks showed the actual actors who play their respective roles, Jamal’s flashbacks only showed a young child portraying the middle son of the clan – eliminating any appearance of Smollett from the finale; even via previously shot footage from the five seasons in which Smollett appeared.

Empire showrunner, Brett Mahoney spoke to TV Line as to the decision on ending of the finale: “I realized that the movie premiere, with the family coming together, with Cookie and Lucious recognizing their love for one another, we definitely have the spirit of what I had intended for our true series finale, It’s almost the idea that the family is more important than the empire. That the love that they have for each other is more important than anything else … that’s definitely where we’re headed in terms of the actual series finale.”

As to the premise from the beginning of season 6 that fans were hoping would be answered in the series finale – who blew up Cookie’s car and who shot Luscious – Mahoney shared: “I was not able to answer that in a satisfying way with what we had shot, so that’s why I’m hoping that we can really still shoot our intended series finale and answer those questions.”

The biggest cliffhanger to come out of the series finale from Tuesday night is; will Mahoney and company be able to re-group and shoot the series finale they intended; following any lessening of the COVID-10 safety measures in the coming months? Stay tuned.

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Empire

TONIGHT: ‘Empire’ Series Finale: How It Will Conclude? Even Taraji P. Henson Says She Doesn’t Know

The coronavirus pandemic not only has wreaked havoc on the physical, emotional, and financial well-beings of everyone in our country and around the world, but for TV viewers it really messed with production plans for many of your favorite shows.   For the primetime soap Empire, that could not have been more true.

Faced with having filmed 18 episodes and a part of its 19th (with an originally planned 20 season order), its series finale and story had to be restructured.  So tonight on Tuesday April 21st, the hip hop music drama will say goodbye on FOX.

Empire has had a very twisted road in its six seasons.  For its first few years on the air, it was a juggernaut bringing in huge ratings.  Then in 2019 things took a turn with a behind the scenes shift when one of its leads, Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon), made headlines for his claimed hate-crime attack on the streets of Chicago in the wee hours of the morning.  This led to plenty of revelations in Smollett’s case with the law, and his not returning to the series for the end of its fifth and in its sixth and final season.

Photo: FOX

Showrunner Brett Mahoney told TV Line that if things line up right following the pandemic, he could see trying to give the show a proper send-off: “I can’t guarantee it will happen, but we’re hopeful. And if we don’t actually get a chance to shoot the series finale, I think we’ll find some creative way to get (the information) out there, whether it’s by just releasing the script or finding another way to satisfy fans “= We don’t know what the costs will be in terms of keeping our sets. And then the question becomes who from the cast will be available at that point.”

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On Monday’s episode of the CBS daytime series, The Talk, the ladies welcomed Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyon) to get a preview of what to expect tonight.  She surprised the hosts by saying she doesn’t really know.

Henson expressed: “We were in the middle of the 19th episode when everything got shut down. So, I used to know how the show was going to end, but I don’t know. They are going to make some kind of movie magic in that editing room. They are going to take all the footage they have already, and just come up with some kind of finale… I will be finding out what’s happening at the same time you guys are finding out, which is kind of fun.”

She added, “I’m a little hurt because I didn’t get to say goodbye to my cast and my crew. I bought them amazing letterman sweaters, that’s my gift to them because it was our senior year.  I hope ‘Empire’s’ legacy will be that African American stories do translate, and they cross over, and they’re international.”

Watch Taraji on The Talk below. Then weigh-in: how do you think the story will conclude for Luscious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie, and the Lyon family in the makeshift ending of Empire? Let us know in the comment section.

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Breaking News

EMPIRE’s Final Season Cut Short Due To COVID-19; Series Finale Now Set For April 21

Will we now ever know just how the lives of Empire’s Lucious  (Terrence Howard) and Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) and their dysfunctional family will resolve now that the series has had to scrap two of their planned episodes in their final season?  The sixth and final season was scheduled to run for a total of 20 episodes.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the production shutdown left them with only 18 episodes tht could be completed.

That means, as first announced during last night’s episode of Empire via voice-over: “Get ready for the shocking final three episodes of ‘Empire,’”  that reveal let viewers of Empire know there was change in plans.”  Now, the shortened season and series finale end on FOX on April 21st.

Reports also note that episode 19 was partially shot and that footage of that unfinished episode will be cut into the finale.

As to what happens with the character of Jamal Lyon played by Jussie Smollett, who everyone knows ran into significant trouble with the law; on last reports executives said he would not be back for the final episodes of the series, although there has still have been mentions of the character throughout season 6.

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Come April 21st, there still may be more Empire in our future, if  FOX executives decide to greenlight a potential spinoff headlined Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon; that first came to light earlier this year in January as being in heavy discussions.

So, what do you think of how Empire will wrap-up after 6 seasons? Do you feel short-changed, or glad they are trying to work in everything they shot to deliver some kind of series finale for fans of the primetime soap? Comment below.

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It’s “Villains Week” on Y&R an that means some Sheila Carter, David Kimball, and Isabella Brana, Check out the promo from CBS Daytime here.  Leave A Comment

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