“Fashion Police” host Giuliana Rancic issued a lengthy on-camera apology for disparaging comments she made about the dreadlocked hairstyle that Disney Channel star Zendaya sported on the Oscars red carpet.
The E! fashion review show isn’t exactly for the thin-skinned, but Rancic’s comments that Zendaya’s hair smelled like “patchouli oil . . . or weed” touched a nerve. The first to push back was Zendaya herself, who in a detailed rebuttal called out Rancic for leaning on lazy racial stereotypes that associate locs exclusively with marijuana smokers.
On Tuesday, Rancic issued a full-throated apology for the comments, which she said were “weighing very heavy on my heart.”
“I want to apologize for a comment that I made on last night’s ‘Fashion Police’ about Zendaya’s hair,” she said. “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 crossed the line.
“Therefore, I want to say to Zendaya and to anyone else out there that I have hurt that I am so, so sincerely sorry.”
She added: “This really has been a learning experience for me. 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.”
In another lengthy message, Zendaya responded to — and accepted — Rancic’s latest apology.
“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,” Zendaya wrote. “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.”
She closed with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
This is actually Rancic’s second apology — the first came on Twitter hours after Zendaya first addressed the comments directly.
But that apology was not enough for many people, including Rancic’s co-host Kelly Osbourne, who posted a series of hysterical tweets about the incident.
At one point, Osbourne threatened to leave the show if the situation wasn’t resolved.
Watch Rancic’s full apology here:
[This post has been updated.]