E! Entertainment has stood by silently while its longtime star Giuliana Rancic has been embroiled in controversy over comments she made on the Oscar edition of “Fashion Police” about Zendaya Coleman.
Individuals close to Rancic told TheWrap that they’re disappointed about the way events unfolded in the wake of the comments as the network has still yet to admit its role in the debacle.
Not only do the individuals say the joke was written for her, but “Fashion Police” producers edited out footage that would’ve given more context to the comments and possibly could’ve saved her from being characterized as a racist.
TheWrap has obtained the script from the episode. Below, see the full “Fashion Police” joke about Zendaya that was taped. Note: The bracketed and underlined text below was edited out before broadcast.
“I love Zendaya’s style and I love when she has the little hair, she just had it. She has such a tiny frame that this hair to me overwhelms her, it’s really heavy it overwhelms her
[and it’s just like too Boho. Zendaya is more high fashion. The hair to me, on her, is making her a little boho] like I feel like she smells like patchouli oil and weed.
A show insider tells TheWrap that while Giuliana was saying the edited out lines during taping, she is seen flashing the peace sign on both hands, clearly indicating a reference to a hippie remark. There’s more…
Before Rancic was able to complete the full joke, co-host Kathy Griffin interrupted her. The part of the joke about The Grateful Dead, which would’ve further clarified that there was no racial intent, didn’t get to tape due to time. Read it below:
Is she going on tour with The Grateful Dead this summer?
Insiders said not only has being dubbed racist become emotionally troubling for the media personality, her team hopes it won’t affect her endorsements. But, she has already received death threats as a result of the incident.
So, why hasn’t E! stood up for its host and admitted to its role in the misunderstanding?
One individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that Rancic’s camp still hopes the network will do something to support their star. So far the network has allowed Rancic to shoulder all the blame of the controversial joke, instead of bringing attention to itself for writing the joke, editing it so that the context is lost and then airing it.
Then, there’s the network and “Fashion Police’s” ongoing feud with the Writers Guild of America. According to the WGA, the organization has been on strike against “Fashion Police” since April 2013 in a dispute over new contracts. Therefore, since the Zendaya quip was written, it did not come from a WGA member and shows that E! hired non-union writers, aka scabs, to write the show.
E! has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment. A representative for Rancic has declined to comment.
Zendaya took to Instagram shortly after the show aired, remarking, “To say that an 18 year old young woman with locs must smell like patchouli oil and weed is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive.”
Rancic subsequently apologized, with Zendaya accepting her mea culpa last Wednesday.