Zendaya has responded to Giuliana Rancic’s apology for her controversial “Fashion Police” comment about the actress’ dreadlocks at the Oscars. Rancic said Zendaya’s hair “probably smelled like patchouli oil or weed,” a remark widely condemned as racist. The E! host posted a video apology to Zendaya on Tuesday, and the young star responded with a long statement on social media on Wednesday.
In her new comments on the situation, Zendaya accepts Rancic’s apology and asks others who were offended by the original remark to do the same. She admits that she initially wanted to lash out at Rancic with her own mean-spirited slam, but decided to “think about the bigger picture” and reply with an “educated response.” Zendaya’s approach worked, as she was lauded online for her maturity, just as Rancic was taken to task for her offensiveness. Here is Zendaya’s new statement, in full:
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.
So that’s where things stand. Kelly Osbourne, meanwhile, has not said anything since her Tuesday threat to leave “Fashion Police” unless the situation was resolved. With Rancic apologizing and Zendaya accepting, it seems like things have been mostly smoothed over.