Giuliana Rancic publicly apologizes to Zendaya Coleman for Oscar dreadlocks joke on 'Fashion Police'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/25/2015
Giuliana Rancic is doing everything she can to apologize to former Dancing with the Stars contestant Zendaya Coleman after making an insensitive comment about her Oscar hairstyle on Monday's episode of Fashion Police.
Coleman, 18, rocked dreadlocks with her floor-length ivory gown on the red carpet for Sunday night's Oscars, and Rancic commented on Fashion Police that her hair must have smelled of "patchouli" and "weed."
Coleman then took to Instagram on Monday to shame the 40-year-old Giuliana & Bill star, however, she didn't say Rancic's name in what turned out to be a very long post.
"There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful. 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," Coleman wrote.
"To say that an 18-year-old young woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil or 'weed' is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive. I don't usually feel the need to respond to negative things but certain remarks cannot go unchecked."
Coleman, a Disney Channel star, said many of her family members and successful African Americans have worked dreadlocks -- "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... [I wanted] to showcase [locks] in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough. To me, locs are a symbol of strength and beauty... 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."
Rancic tweeted a response to Coleman's rant on Tuesday.
"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!!!" the E! host tweeted.
Rancic also issued an on-camera statement during an E! News broadcast, further apologizing to Coleman for her offensive remarks.
"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 just want everyone to know, I didn't intend to hurt anybody -- but, I have learned, it is not my intent that matters, it's the result. And the result is that people are offended, including Zendaya, and that is not okay," Rancic explained.
"Therefore, I want to say to Zendaya, and anyone else out there that I have hurt, that I am so, so sincerely sorry. 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."
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The seventh season of Giuliana & Bill wrapped in June 2014. Coleman had finished Dancing with the Stars' sixteenth season as the runner-up with her pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy in 2013. At the time, Coleman had been the youngest contestant to ever compete on the show.