(PIX11) – A young actress’ response to what she called “ignorant” and “racist” comments about her Oscars red carpet hairdo have struck a chord.
Zendaya, who recently exited from the title role in an Aalyiah biopic, strutted down the red carpet Sunday in a floor-length white gown and long locs – a hairdo one “Fashion Police” host criticized.
“I feel like she smells like patchouli oil,” Giuliana Rancic said of the 18-year-old’s hair, “or weed. Maybe weed.”
Zendaya took to Twitter and Instagram after the awards show to shoot down such criticism.
“There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful. Someone said something about my hair at the Oscars that let me in awe,” Zendaya wrote in a widely shared tweet. “Not because I was relishing in rave outfit reviews, but because I was hit with ignorant slurs and pure disrespect.”
For her part, Rancic apologized on Twitter – but her response was largely unaccepted.
“I’m sorry if I offended you and others,” the E! host wrote. “I was referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!”
On Tuesday, Rancic issued an on-air apology.
“As you know, ‘Fashion Police’ is a show that pokes fun at celebrities in good spirit, but I do understand that something I said last night did cross the line. I just want everyone to know, I didn’t intend to hurt anybody,” Rancic said. “But I’ve learned it’s not my intent that matters, it’s the result, and the result is that people are offended, including Zendaya, and that is not okay. Therefore, I want to say to Zendaya, and anyone else out there that I have hurt, that I am so, so sincerely sorry. This really has been a learning experience for me.”
Zendaya suggested her critics listen to India Arie’s anthem “I Am Not My Hair” for some perspective.