Zendaya reflects on Giuliana Rancic’s derogatory dreadlocks comment
'There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful.'
In a new cover story for W Magazine, Zendaya reflects on the derogatory comments made about her faux dreadlocks by former Fashion Police co-host Giuliana Rancic at the 2015 Academy Awards.
theGRIO previously reported, while critiquing Zendaya’s Oscar red carpet look, Rancic commented on her choice to wear her hair in dreadlocks saying, “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil or maybe weed.”
Zendaya, 24, took to Twitter and Instagram to slam the remarks, calling them “outrageously offensive.”
“There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful,” she wrote in a lengthy post. “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.”
Speaking to W Magazine about her passionate response to Rancic, Zendaya noted… “That’s how change happens.”
The former Disney actress graces the W cover alongside her Malcolm and Marie co-star John David Washington. She tells the publication that her moment with Rancic left her feeling like she needs to leave a “lasting impact on what people saw and associated with People of Color.”
In Zendaya’s response to the television host back in 2015, she noted… “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.”
Zendaya also advised the haters to “listen to India Arie’s ‘I Am Not My Hair,’ and contemplate a little before opening your mouth so quickly to judge,” she said.
Rancic clarified her remarks in a statement on Twitter at the time, claiming she was referring to Zendaya’s “bohemian chic look” and it was to do with race. She also issued the following on-camera statement via E!:
I’d really like to address something that is 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. 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’ve 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 OK. 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. Thank you for listening.
Prior to issuing an apology, the response from Black Twitter was fast and furious, slamming Rancic for what many deemed as racist commentary about Zendaya’s faux dreads.
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