Yesterday we covered Zendaya calling out Giuliana Rancic for mocking her dreadlocks on Fashion Police. Giuliana was widely criticized for saying Z smelled like “patchouli oil and weed.” After Zendaya’s eloquent response, Giuliana made an extended, somber apology. She seemed sincere, and I was ready to let the matter go.
During the Fashion Police episode in which Giuliana mocked Zendaya, Kelly Osbourne was the only cast member who appeared annoyed and didn’t laugh. Us Weekly says Kelly’s disgust was due to the fact that Giuliana ignored Kelly’s warnings not to do the bit. A member of the live audience told Us, “They did the Zendaya segment three times. Three different takes. On the first two takes, Kelly said ‘Guys, we can’t say this. Zendaya is a friend of the show.’ Giuliana said the words ‘patchouli oil’ and ‘weed’ three times. They all heard the three takes.”
This new information makes Giuliana’s original comments even more awkward. I’m curious about Kelly’s warnings. She realized Giuliana’s comments were awful. Did she only speak up because Zendaya is a friend of the show? Maybe that’s the only way she thought Giuliana could be convinced. Whatever the case, Kelly’s opinion didn’t matter. Giuliana kept repeating herself.
Zendaya has accepted Giuliana’s second apology with another amazing response:
“Studies have shown that even though we try to act without prejudice, sometimes it’s just hidden inside us due to our past or surroundings. That hidden prejudice is often influential in our actions. It’s our job to spot these issues within others and ourselves and destroy them before they become hurtful. I have so many people looking up to me, that I couldn’t be scared, wait it out, nor could I just stand up for me; I had to do it for WE. It is important in this journey to remember that just because someone has inflicted hurt upon us, it does not give us the right to do the same. Body shaming and other hurtful tactics will never get the job done. As hard as it was to stop MYSELF from being ignorant and from posting the first mean words that came to my mind because I was hurt, I had to think about the bigger picture. Instead I sat for two hours on my phone, doing my research and formulating an educated response. Giuliana, I appreciate your apology and I’m glad 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. From a quote we all know by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’ Let’s be that light and spread that love.”
[From Zendaya Coleman on Instagram]
Zendaya’s only 18 years old, and she’s critically thinking and teaching by example. I can’t imagine any other teenager stepping back and collecting her thoughts for hours. Most teens — most people, actually — would’ve fired off a few indignant tweets and some middle-finger emoji. Z’s proven herself able to handle difficult issues like the Aaliyah biopic mess with enviable grace.
P.S. I never talked about this red and pink Rubin dress that Zendaya wore at NYFW. She walked in the Go Red For Women show, and this dress is prom-y but awesome.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN