Update, 3/18/15 at 10 a.m.:
According to Deadline.com, E! News reports that “Fashion Police” — which has seen recent departures from host Kathy Griffin and panelist Kelly Osbourne, both following controversial racial comments made by panelist Giuliana Rancic — will be taking a longer break than expected. The network said “Fashion Police” will return from a long hiatus in the fall.
Kathy Griffin is quitting E!’s “Fashion Police” after just seven episodes, citing creative differences with the show’s direction in a long tweet posted on Thursday night.
Griffin replaced Joan Rivers, the longtime host of “Fashion Police” who died suddenly in 2014. The comedian seemed like a natural replacement for the at-times raunchy, un-P.C. barbs on the show. In Griffin’s tweet, she explained:
“I was thrilled to continue her legacy as a woman being brash and eccentric on television. I am a freedom-loving female and gay rights activist who loves to find the funny in all people, attitudes, beliefs and appearances, but only when the context permits intelligent humor.”
Griffin obviously doesn’t spell out why she’s quitting the show, but if you read between the lines, you can bet she’s referring to her E! co-host Giuliana Rancic’s recent comment during Oscars coverage about how Zendaya, a young Black actress who wore her hair in dreadlocks, must smell like “patchouli oil and weed.” Rancic later apologized for the comments, saying she did not intend to be racist and meant to imply a commentary on Zendaya’s bohemian look. Nevertheless, Kelly Osbourne, another co-host of “Fashion Police” and a friend of Zendaya’s, left the show Februrary 27.
Griffin’s tweet continued:
“Listen, I’m no saint — I’m a feminist and a Gurrrrl who loves an offensive joke or a well-timed barb and you will find plenty in my repetoire. But I do not want to use my comedy to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance towards difference.”
This is the full text of the tweet (which got a tweet response in support from Osbourne):
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) March 13, 2015
As Today.com reports, E! released their own statement about Griffin’s departure, which seems to be taking the ‘let’s just all play dumb and hope this will go away’ tactic:
“We can confirm that Kathy Griffin is leaving E!’s ‘Fashion Police.’ We wish her all the best and are grateful for her time on the show, as well as the many laughs that she gave us all. ‘Fashion Police’ will return, as scheduled, on Monday, March 30, at 9 p.m. with our talented co-hosts Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski, and executive producer Melissa Rivers. No further information is available at this time.”
Well, well, well. It must be really awkward to be Giuliana Rancic right now.