Ryan Seacrest has personally penned a column for the Hollywood reporter denying accusations of sexual harassment: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ryan-seacrest-what-happened-i-was-wrongly-accused-harassment-guest-column-1081933. In it, he stresses that he still supports all the victims coming forward in the #MeToo era but that he has been cleared of charges by an independent investigation.
"Famous person accused of horrible behavior" has become almost a daily headline for months now. Seacrest is attempting to tell the story from the point of the accused. He makes some good points:
"Most of us agree that the presumption of innocence is an important standard. We are taught early on that it’s essential to see all sides, to give everyone a chance to explain and to check for exculpatory evidence that may have been missed. At a time when improper interactions between men and women, particularly in the workplace, are part of a national conversation, we must find a way to ensure that everyone — the public, private and public institutions, accusers and alleged accused — is given the opportunity for a swift and fair review."
The "#MeToo movement" has experienced a bit of a backlash lately. Partly because a flood of outraged women have added every single remark or grievance to the more serious accusations of actual harassment and even assault. It's one thing to have a reckoning for Harvey Weinstein after several actresses have accused him of rape, but quite another to publicly shame Azia Asnari for apparently being an aggressive jerk.
Ryan Seacrest isn't the first to point out the concept of "innocent until proven guilty." A lot of people think the movement has gone too far. Furthermore, the suggestion that we "believe all women" is just preposterous.
I don't know what, if anything, Ryan Seacrest is guilty of. I'm glad to know that there is still a process for the accused to mount a defense. But despite the backlash, there are still a lot of women with years of pent up anger and frustration. Many of them have good cause.
There has to be some reasonable middle ground between everyone looking away as powerful men harass and assault women and ruining a career and reputation based on the word of one woman. It will probably take us a long time to reach it.