E! “Fashion Police” host Giuliana Rancic issued an on-air apology Tuesday for remarks she made about Zendaya’s hair the previous day, acknowledging that suggesting the actress’ dreadlocks “smelled of patchouli oil and weed” perpetuated negative racial stereotypes.
“I want to apologize for a comment that I made on last night’s ‘Fashion Police’ about Zendaya’s hair,” Rancic said on “E! News.”
“Now as you know, ‘Fashion Police’ is a show that pokes fun at celebrities in good spirit, but I do understand that something I said last night did cross the line.
“I want to say to Zendaya, and anyone else out there that I have hurt, I am so, so sincerely sorry,” the host added. “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.”
Zendaya was quick to respond to Rancic’s offensive comment on Monday by writing a long Instagram post saying she was “hit with ignorant slurs and pure disrespect.”
“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,” she wrote, adding that “certain remarks cannot go unchecked,” said the 18-year-old actress.
Kelly Osbourne was among the countless people who jumped to her support, tweeting in all caps Tuesday that she did not make the comment about Zendaya’s dreadlocks that many — Zendaya included — found offensive. Osbourne added that she does not condone racism and as a result is “seriously questioning staying on the show.”
I DID NOT MAKE THE WEED COMENT. I DO NOT CONDONE RACISM SO AS A RSULT OF THIS IM SEREIOULSY QUESTIONONIG STAYING ON THE SHOW!
Along with Tuesday’s on-air statement, Rancic also apologized for offending the young star on Twitter Monday night. “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!!!” she wrote.