Giuliana Rancic Apologizes to Zendaya After Being Called Out for “Disrespectful” Oscars Dreadlocks Comment

Giuliana Rancic and Zendaya
Giuliana Rancic and Zendaya are feuding over harsh Oscars criticism. Steve Granitz/WireImage; Steve Granitz/WireImage

Giuliana Rancic pushed the envelope too far on Fashion Police on Monday, Feb. 23, when she used tone-deaf, arguably racist language to criticize singer and actress Zendaya Coleman's hairstyle at the 2015 Oscars. 

During a segment on the 87th Annual Academy Awards, the E! personality reportedly sniped of Zendaya's dreadlocked hair, "I feel like she smells like patchouli oil… or maybe weed." The Shake It Up actress, who looked gorgeous at the Oscars in a Vivienne Westwood off-the-shoulder white gown with Chopard jewelry, did not take Rancic's comments lightly.

The former Disney star, 18, took to Instagram to comment on Rancic's diss. She posted an image of a long paragraph of text, giving context to the Fashion Police star's words and voicing her concern over Rancic's intent, without actually naming her critic. 

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"There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful," Zendaya wrote. "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."

"To say that an 18-year-old woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil or 'weed' is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive," continued the star, who was, in fact, celebrated by many outlets for her look and called a "breakout style star" by Vogue for her appearance. "I don't usually feel the need to respond to negative things but certain remarks cannot go unchecked."

Zendaya went on to name people she loves and admires who all sport dreadlocks, including her father and brother, celebrated Selma director Ava DuVernay, Waiting to Exhale author Terry McMillan, and Grammy-nominated singer Ledisi

A photo posted by Zendaya (@zendaya) on Feb 23, 2015 at 8:20pm PST

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"Do you want to know what [they all] have in common?" Zendaya explained. "Locs. 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 base on the curl of their hair. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color tha tour hair is good enough." 

"To me locs are a symbol of strength and beauty, almost like a lion's mane," she added. "I suggest some people should listen to India Arie's 'I Am Not My Hair' and contemplate a little before opening your mouth so quickly to judge."

Though she was not specifically named, Rancic, 40, recognized Zendaya's words and responded on Twitter.

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"Dear @Zendaya, I'm sorry I offended you and others," she wrote in the late hours of Monday evening. "I was referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!"

UPDATE: Kelly Osbourne also weighed in on the matter on Twitter. Read her tweets below.

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