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The Latest: Diane Warren doesn’t shy away from Ryan Seacrest

March 4, 2018

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the Academy Awards, which are being bestowed Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

Oscar nominee Diane Warren says she did not hesitate to stop to do an interview with E! host Ryan Seacrest on the Oscars red carpet Sunday.

Seacrest is facing allegations of sexual misconduct and there have been questions around whether Time’s Up supporters will stop to talk to him on the carpet in spite of that. Seacrest has denied wrongdoing, and E! says it conducted an investigation and did find any issues with the host’s conduct.

Warren says she knows Seacrest and has for a long time. She also says she’s a big supporter of the Time’s Up movement. Allison Janney, considered the front-runner for the best supporting actress Oscar, was among those who also spoke to Seacrest on Sunday.

Warren is nominated for best original song for “Stand Up for Something” from the film “Marshall.”

Warren has been nominated for nine Oscars, and her previous nomination was for the song “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground,” a 2015 documentary about campus rape.

— Nicole Evatt (@NicoleEvatt) and Lindsey Bahr (@ldbahr)

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2:55 p.m.

“Strong Island” director Yance Ford says that it has been an incredible experience being the first openly transgender nominee.

Ford’s says Sunday that his presence on the Oscars red carpet speaks for itself and that he plans to enjoy himself no matter what the outcome when the envelope is opened later in the evening.

The film is a harrowing portrait of how Ford’s family was affected following the death of his brother in 1992 in Long Island. A white grand jury did not indict the white man who shot him.

“Strong Island” is competing for best documentary against “Last Men in Aleppo,” ″Icarus,” ″Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” and “Faces Places.”

— Nicole Evatt (@NicoleEvatt) and Lindsey Bahr (@ldbahr)

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2:45 p.m.

With a little more than two hours to go until Oscar showtime, a sense of calm before the storm has set in backstage at the 90th annual Academy Awards.

Several show workers appear to be enjoying the respite, sitting backstage quietly chatting while one worker diligently wipes away smudges in preparation of celebrities’ imminent arrival on the red carpet.

There is no mention of the stunning envelope fiasco that closed last year’s show.

— Sandy Cohen (@YouKnowSandy)

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2:35 p.m.

“Last Men in Aleppo” director Firas Fayyad says that art is more powerful than the voices of Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump.

Fayyad’s documentary about a group of first responders in the White Helmets and the Syrian civil war is nominated for best documentary at the 90th Academy Awards Sunday. The film is up against “Faces Places,” ″Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” ″Icarus” and “Strong Island.”

Fayyed said Sunday on the Oscars red carpet said that he is honored to be there and that it’s an important space to share this story. He said it was one of the most powerful platforms in the world. He has been openly critical of Russia and Putin while promoting the film.

The filmmakers had faced some visa issues and were unsure if they were going to make it to the Oscars, but access came through for Fayyed, his producer and his cinematographer. Syria is one of the countries included in a travel ban.

— Nicole Evatt (@NicoleEvatt) and Lindsey Bahr (@ldbahr)

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1:30 p.m.

It’s an hour before the stars start arriving on the Oscars red carpet, and final preparations are in full swing.

E! red carpet host Giuliana Rancic posed for photos in front of fan bleachers wearing a flowing yellow dress. Journalists worked to get into their positions on the carpet, some snapping their last selfies before the show. The carpet is scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

Fans cheered as they recorded a well-wishes message to host Jimmy Kimmel, who returns as Oscars host for the second time.

Two workers from Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant carried a huge tray of food that will be served inside the post-show Governors Ball, including chocolates and lox shaped like Oscars statuettes. Puck followed the platter, throwing snacks to cheering fans in the bleachers and saying, “Alright, who wants an Oscar?”

A massive tent was erected over the carpet to protect it from two days of rain. But the skies had cleared Sunday and temperatures were the low 60s, although it was considerably hotter for fans and journalists under the tent.

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6 a.m.

The (right) envelope, please.

The Oscars will hope to live down their most infamous blunder at the 90th Academy Awards. The ceremony begins at 8 p.m. EST. But more than redemption is on the line Sunday. The ceremony promises to be rife with references to the #MeToo movement sparked by the Harvey Weinstein revelations.

Host Jimmy Kimmel will be tasked with not just ensuring the correct winners are read Sunday, but also with confronting a traumatic year for Hollywood. No dress-code protest is planned by Time’s Up organizers, as happened at January’s Golden Globes.

The night’s top honor, best picture, is considered especially up for grabs this year, with contenders including “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” ″The Shape of Water” and “Get Out.”

— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle (@jakecoyleAP)

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For full coverage of awards season, visit: https://apnews.com/tag/AwardsSeason

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