Melissa Rivers on 'Fashion Police' drama: The show is funny and not mean-spirited, but the family fell apart
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/05/2015
Melissa Rivers has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Fashion Police.
Kelly Osbourne quit Fashion Police after her former co-star Giuliana Rancic made an offensive joke about Zendaya Coleman's dreadlocks at the Oscars which led people to believe there was a racial undertone. Not long later, Kathy Griffin quit the series claiming her humor didn't match up with the show's creative direction.
The E! show executives -- including Melissa -- then decided in March they should stop airing Fashion Police for a while to allow for a breather and some genuine time to revamp the show. Rancic will be returning to Fashion Police when the series comes back, but her new co-hosts have yet to be revealed or even possibly determined.
"The only way I can really get my head around it is the matriarch of the family died," Melissa told Today's Matt Lauer in an interview that aired Monday, referencing her late mother Joan Rivers who had been the heart and soul of Fashion Police but passed away in September 2014.
"And the family fell apart. And the sisters started fighting. And everybody mourns and grieves differently. And then someone tried to marry into the family. And we know how that went. That's the only way I can sort of explain what happened."
Despite criticism, Melissa, 47, defended Fashion Police by saying she absolutely thinks "the show is funny."
"And people say it's mean-spirited. It wasn't, because it was a celebration," Melissa continued.
"My mother loved fashion. And she loved celebrity. And she loved being famous. And she loved that these women were getting dressed up. And even though we're talking about it and making jokes, it came from a place of excitement, which made it okay."
Melissa said the show basically missed the mark when they tried to bring it back without Joan's presence and amazing comedic delivery. Joan was able to poke fun at people while still coming across caring, charming and light-hearted.
"I don't think we ever achieved that warmth, that excitement, that love that came through the screen," Melissa elaborated.