Oscars fans were convinced that Taraji P Henson showed contempt for Ryan Seacrest as she spoke to him on the red carpet before the awards ceremony.
Seacrest hosted the Oscars pre-show after a former colleague of his went public with an allegation of sexual harassment, something he has denied.
It had been questioned whether stars would be comfortable being seen talking to Seacrest, as the industry faces a reckoning over sexual harassment and abuse.
However, Empire and Hidden Figures star Henson was one of those who chatted to him at the event.
While speaking about Oscar nominee Mary J Blige, Henson told Seacrest while tapping his face: “The Universe has a way of taking care of the good people, you know what I mean?”
One Oscars viewer tweeted a clip of that moment, and wrote: “Holy shit Taraji just put a curse on Ryan Seacrest.”
One said: “Damn taraji shaded him cursed him gave him the evil eye and all that sheesh.”
“I literally just gasped out loud at Taraji bopping Seacrest on the chin while shading his character,” another said.
Many others said they thought she was “throwing shade” at him.
One wrote: “Damn, kudos to Taraji for throwing shade on Ryan Seacrest in a very subtle way!”
“Taraji throwing shade like it’s sunny on the red carpet,” one quipped, while another said it seemed “pretty obvious” that she was doing so.
It was recently confirmed that television presenter and producer Seacrest would be taking up his usual red carpet reporting slot ahead of the biggest night in Hollywood.
Seacrest, who hosts American Idol, went public with the allegation of sexual harassment himself in November when he denied the “reckless” allegations and insisted he is an “advocate for women”.
But a personal stylist for Seacrest until 2013 detailed the allegations to US magazine Variety in an article in February.
E! said an “extremely comprehensive” investigation using an external lawyer had found “insufficient evidence to substantiate allegations against Seacrest”.
After Variety published the article, Seacrest criticised it as “salacious” and praised the Time’s Up and Me Too movements that were ignited by Harvey Weinstein’s downfall.
“I don’t want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth but in this case, I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me, remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing, and put the matter to rest,” he added.
The allegation against Seacrest was lodged as high-profile entertainment industry figures including Kevin Spacey and Louis CK faced allegations of sexual misconduct.