Actress and singer Zendaya Coleman has hit back at Giuliana Rancic after the E! host joked that the 18-year-old looked like she reeked of weed on the Oscars red carpet.
Rancic took the shot at Zendaya during E!’s Fashion Police show Monday, because of the singer’s choice to wear dreadlocks to the awards ceremony.
“I feel like she smells like patchouli oil,” Rancic snipped, drawing chuckles from her co-hosts. “Or weed. Maybe weed?”
Zendaya responded by tastefully reading Rancic in a lengthy statement on social media, calling her comments “offensive” and “ignorant slurs.”
“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,” wrote Zendaya, who turned heads on the carpet in an elegant ivory Vivienne Westwood gown.
She then went on to list several prominent figures, including “Selma” director Ava DuVernay and “Waiting to Exhale” author Terry McMillan, who have worn dreadlocks — “None of which smell of marijuana.
“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,” Zendaya said.
“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.”
The 40-year-old awards show gabber later apologized on Twitter, saying her comments had nothing to do with Zendaya’s race. (The singer’s father is black and her mother is white.)
“Dear @Zendaya, I’m sorry I offended you and others. I was referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!” she wrote.
Pop the hood to watch Giuliana’s apology video: