Former 'Fashion Police' host Giuliana Rancic (right) was criticised by former Disney star Zendaya in 2015 following remarks Rancic made about the actress' traditional locs hairstyle. Picture: Getty The former ‘Fashion Police’ host made a comment about the ‘Malcolm & Marie’ star’s hair at the time and now she’s talking about it.
Zendaya is opening up about a joke Giuliana Rancic made at the 2015 Academy Awards.
At the time, the former Disney Channel standout wore her hair in a traditional African style, and Rancic told Zendaya that the hairdo made the actress look like she “smells like patchouli oil or weed.”
The Euphoria star was 18 years old at the time and criticised the then-co-host of “Fashion Police” for her remarks following the episode’s airing in an Instagram post and called the off-colour comments “outrageously offensive.”
There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful,” Zendaya wrote at the time. “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.”
“To say that an 18-year-old young woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil or ‘weed’ is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive,” Zendaya pressed. “I don’t usually feel the need to respond to negative things but certain remarks cannot go unchecked.”
The Emmy-winner also name-dropped other prominent Black women who wear their hair in various styles of locs, such as Terry McMillan, Ledisi and Ava DuVernay, “none of which smell of marijuana,” she said.
“I suggest some people should listen to India Arie’s I Am Not My Hair,” Zendaya added. “And contemplate a little before opening your mouth so quickly to judge.”
Now, at 24 and having come into her own as a force for women and Black culture in Hollywood, Zendaya reflected on the moment in the latest cover story for W Magazine – which she shares alongside her “Malcolm and Marie” co-star John David Washington.
“That’s how change happens,” the actress and producer said of the incident. “And it made me think, ‘How could I always have a lasting impact on what people saw and associated with People of Colour?’”
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!!!