- Zendaya recently reflected on Giuliana Rancic’s offensive comments about her hair in 2015.
- She told W Magazine that the incident made her question how she could impact people of color.
- “That’s how change happens,” Zendaya said.
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In February 2015, Zendaya walked the Oscars red carpet in a stunning Vivienne Westwood gown and long, cascading dreadlocks.
Shortly after the event, E! News correspondent Giuliana Rancic made offensive comments aimed at the actor’s hair during an episode of “Fashion Police,” saying she assumed Zendaya smelled like “weed” and “patchouli oil.”
The actress issued a lengthy message about the remarks on Instagram at the time, and is now reflecting on the incident once again.
“That’s how change happens,” she told W Magazine in an interview, referencing her response to Rancic’s comments and the support she received from others.
Zendaya at the Oscars in February 2015.
“And it made me think, how could I always have a lasting impact on what people saw and associated with people of color?” Zendaya said.
In her original statement on the matter, the actress said there’s a “fine line between what’s funny and disrespectful.” She also said Rancic’s “ignorant slurs” left her “in awe,” and pointed out that numerous members of her family and Hollywood peers have dreadlocks and deserve respect.
“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 wrote in 2015. “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.”
“To me, locs are a symbol of strength and beauty, almost like a lion’s mane,” she continued. “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.”
Rancic also issued an apology at the time, saying she was “so, so sincerely sorry” to Zendaya. She also described the incident as a “learning experience” for herself.
Representatives for Giuliana Rancic did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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