*Zendaya opens up in the latest issue of W Magazine about why she decided to speak up about the ‘ignorant’ comments Giuliana Rancic made about the faux dreadlocks she wore to the 2015 Academy Awards.
During a rundown of Zendaya’s red carpet appearance, the former “Fashion Police” co-host suggested that the actress looked like she “smells like patchouli oil or weed.” She caught major heat from Black Twitter, who accused Rancic of being racist.
Zendaya responded to the television host on Instagram. “There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful,” she wrote at the time.”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.”
Continued Zendaya, “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.”
Rancic apologized for her comments on Twitter, clarifying that she meant her comments as “referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!”
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Rancic also issued an on-camera statement via E!, saying in part, “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.”
Coleman then noted the prejudice in Rancic’s statement.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
Speaking to W Magazine about the moment, the 24-year-old star said…”That’s how change happens.”
Zendaya, who graces the cover with John David Washington, said. “And it made me think, ‘How could I always have a lasting impact on what people saw and associated with People of Color?'”
She’s certainly leaving an impression with the W Magazine cover shoot, inspired by Slim Aarons’s photographs of socialite C.Z. Zendaya mused, “Two Black actors in this setting, seems like rewriting history in an elegant manner, like kind of an Old Hollywood that we wished existed. It’s almost like righting a wrong,” Zendaya said.
“The visuals matter,” her longtime stylist and image architect Law Roach said of the ’50s-themed shoot. “The way change happens is when people can see wealth and grandeur in a way that they are not used to seeing it.”