Earlier this week E!’s Fashion Police host, Giuliana Rancic landed in hot water after controversial comments made in regards to actress, Zendaya Coleman‘s hairstyle on the Oscar’s red carpet. While she looked gorgeous, Giuliana Rancic took the opportunity to make some off-color remarks about Zendaya’s locs, (perhaps trying to tune into her inner Joan Rivers), saying “I feel like they smell of patchouli oil or weed.” Really Giuliana?
The next day, following an epic backlash from social media users, Coleman took to Instagram to respond to Rancic’s comments, neatly outlining the offensive nature of Rancic’s words. She cited in the post that not only do her father and brother wear locs, well-known figures such as Selma director Ava Duvernay and singer Ledisi also sport the hairstyle, in addition to stating the harsh criticism of African-American hair. “There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful,” Coleman said in her original note to Rancic. “Someone said something about my hair at the Oscars that left me in awe. Not because I was relishing in rave outfit reviews, but because I was hit with ignorant slurs and pure disrespect.”
Celebrities like Viola Davis, Kerry Washington and Whoopi Goldberg were among a few celebrities who tweeted Zendaya in support. Most notable was Solange Knowles, who stated that her fro was criticized for years by Fashion Police and magazines alike.
Shortly after the comments began to backfire, trouble was brewing in the Fashion Police camp after Kelly Osbourne threatened to leave the show over the controversy. Not only is Coleman a good friend of hers, she also guest hosted on Fashion Police numerous times, and Osbourne did not condone or approve of the Rancic’s comments. Rancic later issued an apology via E! News, saying she didn’t intend on hurting anyone with her words. Coleman ultimately accepted the apology stating, “I appreciate your apology and I’m glad that it was a learning experience for you and for the network, I hope that others negatively affected by her words can also find it in their hearts to accept her apology as well.” Interestingly enough, Rancic threw the Fashion Police writers under the bus, saying that it was them who wrote the insensitive joke in the first place.
Hopefully this incident will cause the media to think a little bit more clearly when comes to perpetuating stereotypes!