TORONTO — Celebrity interviewer Giuliana Rancic apologizing to actress Zendaya on Tuesday for a comment she made about the young star’s dreadlocks.
On Monday’s Fashion Police, Rancic said of Zendaya’s hair on the Oscars red carpet: “I feel that she smells like patchouli oil … or weed.”
Calling the remark “outrageously offensive,” Zendaya tweeted a lengthy response.
“There is already harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair,” she wrote.
“My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough.”
Selma director Ava DuVernay took to Twitter to call Zendaya “beautiful” and show support. “We bless the ignorant and wish them well,” she wrote. “Onward.”
Other stars weighed in, including Kerry Washington (“Well done Beautiful,” she tweeted at Zendaya) and Niecy Nash (“Hopefully this post will enlighten, educate & inform,” she tweeted).
Rancic tweeted an apology to Zendaya and insisted her comment was not about race.
On E! News, Rancic told viewers she wanted to “address something that is weighing heavily on my heart.”
She said: “I do understand that something I said last night did cross the line. I didn’t intend to hurt anybody but I have learned it is not my intent that matters. I am so sincerely sorry.
“This really has been a learning experience for me. This incident has taught me to be a lot more aware of cliches and stereotypes. How much damage they can do.”
Rancic’s Fashion Police co-star Kelly Osbourne explained on Twitter that she is a friend of Zendaya and distanced herself from the comment.