Zendaya called Giuliana Rancic’s criticism of her 2015 Oscars hair “ignorant” at the time, but she said in a new cover story with W magazine that it was also what made her recognize the impact she could have on how people of color are perceived and inspire true cultural change.
The actress wore a white silk off-the-shoulder Vivienne Westwood column gown to the Academy Awards that year, which she matched with waist-skimming dreadlocks pulled back into a half-up look.
Zendaya’s hair smelled like patchouli oil and cannabis, according to E! News anchor and Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic.
“That’s how change happens,” the actress remarked in her W interview of Rancic’s remark and the accompanying talk about race that followed. And it made me wonder, “How could I ever have a lasting impact on how people perceive and associate people of color?”
After Rancic’s rude remark, Zendaya, who was 19 at the time, spoke up for herself on Instagram, stating, “There is a small line between what is humorous and disrespectful.”
At the Oscars, someone mentioned something about my hair that left me speechless. Not because I was looking forward to getting compliments on my appearance, but because I was subjected to ignorant remarks and outright disdain.”
“To assume that an 18-year-old young woman with locs must smell like patchouli oil or ‘weed’ is not only a big stereotype, but it’s also absurdly disrespectful,” she concluded. I don’t typically feel compelled to respond to unfavorable comments, but some sentiments must be addressed.”
She also told Good Morning America that she had to “stop myself from being ignorant and like a kid” while writing her response.
Because my parents are both educators, I had to take my time and think about what they taught me, which is that the most important things in the world are your voice and your education. So I went into my room and utilized both of them.”
“I’m sorry I offended you and others,” Rancic said in a tweet to Zendaya at the time. I was referring to a look that was bohemian chic. It had nothing to do with race, and it would never do so!!!” “As you know, Fashion Police is a show that pokes fun at celebrities in a nice spirit,” she apologized on live, “but I do understand that something I said last night did cross the line.”
I simply want everyone to know that I had no intention of hurting anyone, but I’ve realized that intent isn’t everything. It’s the outcome. As a result, individuals are insulted, especially Zendaya, which is unacceptable.
As a result, I’d like to express my heartfelt condolences to Zendaya and anyone else I’ve offended. This has been a true educational experience for me. I’ve learnt a lot today, and this situation has made me more conscious of cliches and prejudices, as well as the harm they may cause. And that I, like everyone else, is accountable for not perpetuating them.”