UPDATE, 3/5/15 at 7:30 a.m.: People reports that Giuliana Rancic’s now-infamous “patchouli oil and weed” comment wasn’t all she had to say about Zendaya’s dreadlocks. The mag has obtained (but not yet released) a “Fashion Police” clip of Rancic saying that Zendaya’s waist-length dreadlocks look is “really heavy – it overwhelms her, and it’s just too boho.” She goes on to make peace signs and say again “Zendaya is more high-fashion. The hair to me on her is making her a little more boho. Like I feel like she smells like patchouli oil. Or weed.” This comment is more in line with Rancic’s original apology on Twitter, “I was referring to a bohemian chic look.” This explanation may give Rancic’s remarks a smidge more context, but it’s clearly too little, too late to save her reputation.
This year’s Oscars had their share of progressive moments: Patricia Arquette’s call for wage equality, Graham Moore’s statement about not fitting in, and John Legend’s moving performance of “Glory.” But of course, someone has to come along and ruin it. That person was E! Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic.
Zendaya, a former Disney star, walked E!’s red carpet in waist-length dreadlocks, which, as NYMag points out, was dramatically different from the pixie cut she had earlier that week. For God only knows what reason, Rancic said that the dreadlocks made Zendaya look like she smelled of “patchouli oil and weed.” Can you imagine someone saying that to Scarlett Johansson?
Twitter came to Zendaya’s defense, and Zendaya eventually wrote a lengthy comment herself to respond to Rancic’s unnecessary, racist comment:
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) February 24, 2015
Rancic apologized on Twitter, and says the comment had “NOTHING” to do with race. Right.
Dear @Zendaya, I’m sorry I offended you and others. I was referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!
— Giuliana Rancic (@GiulianaRancic) February 24, 2015
Cheers to Zendaya for her gorgeous natural hair, and for rocking it on the red carpet.
UPDATE: Celebrities have come out in support of Zendaya on Twitter, including Ava DuVernay, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, and Solange Knowles.
— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) February 25, 2015
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 24, 2015
Giuliana Rancic apologized on-air on Tuesday. In a somber statement to Zendaya and viewers, she admits her red carpet comment was “disrespectful.” Rancic says, “This really has been a learning experience for me. I’ve learned a lot today and this incident has taught me to be a lot more aware of cliches and stereotypes, how much damage they can do. And that I am responsible as we all are to not perpetuate them further.”
Update to the update: Zendaya is a class act. She posted an Instagram photo responding to Giuliana’s latest apology. “Giuliana, I appreciate your apology and I’m glad it was a learning experience for you and the network… Let’s be that light and spread that love,” she says.
A photo posted by Zendaya (@zendaya) onFeb 25, 2015 at 11:22am PST
Update, 2/27/15 at 10p.m.: The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Kelly Osbourne quit “Fashion Police” today. Following Giuliana Rancic’s initial comments, Osbourne had tweeted annoyed-but-mysterious remarks like this:
Im giving everyone involved 24 hours to make it right or the world will hear how I really feel. contactually Im not allowed to speak!
— Kelly Osbourne (@KellyOsbourne) February 24, 2015
This was the statement released by E! on Kelly Osbourne’s departure:
“Kelly Osbourne is departing E!’s Fashion Police to pursue other opportunities, and we would like to thank her for her many contributions to the series over the past five years, during which time the show became a hit with viewers. Fashion Police will return as scheduled on Monday, March 30, at 9 p.m., and no decisions have been made on her replacement.”