Zendaya Blasts Giuliana Rancic for Racist Oscar Comments
After Giuliana Rancic crossed the line with comments about Zendaya’s look at the Oscars, the young actress slammed the host for her “ignorant” comments.
In case you missed it, the Disney Channel star wore a sleek gown by Vivienne Westwood and wore her hair in faux dreadlocks.
During a segment on Monday night’s episode of Fashion Police, Rancic critiqued Zendaya’s look using arguably racist language.
“I feel that she smells like patchouli oil . . . or weed,” Rancic said. “Yeah, maybe weed.”
The host’s comments were not taken lightly by the young star, who posted a well-written note on Instagram criticizing the remarks.
“There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful,” Zendaya wrote. “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 woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil or ‘weed’ is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive,” continued the star. “I don’t usually feel the need to respond to negative things but certain remarks cannot go unchecked.”
The K.C. Undercover star continued by noting that there are people in her family that wear dreadlocks, including her father and brother. She also noted that Ava DuVernay, who directed the Oscar-nominated film Selma, Harvard professor Vincent Brown, author Terry McMillan and Grammy-nominated singer Ledisi all have dreadlocks.
“Do you want to know what [they all] have in common?” Zendaya explained. “Locs. None of which smell of marijuana. There is already harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others base on the curl of their hair. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color tha tour hair is good enough.”
“To me locs are a symbol of strength and beauty, almost like a lion’s mane,” she added. “I suggest some people should listen to India Arie’s ‘I Am Not My Hair’ and contemplate a little before opening your mouth so quickly to judge.”
Throughout the statement she never specifically named Rancic, but the host recognized that the words were for her and issued an apology via Twitter.
“Dear @Zendaya, I’m sorry I offended you and others,” she wrote. “I was referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!”
Do you think Giuliana Rancic was out of line? What do you think of Zendaya’s response? Let us know in the comments!
(Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)