Zendaya took to Instagram to shame Rancic, 40, for her comments without specifically naming the Fashion Police host: "There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful," she 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."
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."
Zendaya went on to name-check successful African Americans such as Ava DuVernay and Terry McMillan, all of whom have "locs" in common – "none of which smell of marijuana."
"I suggest some people should listen to India Arie's 'I Am Not My Hair,' " Zendaya concluded, "and contemplate a little before opening your mouth so quickly to judge."
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!!!"
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!!!— Giuliana Rancic (@GiulianaRancic) February 24, 2015
Later, Rancic also issued an on-camera statement via E!:
"Now, 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 – but, I have learned, it is 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. I've learned a lot today, and this incident has taught me to be a lot more aware of clichés and stereotypes, how much damage they can do – and that I am responsible, as we all are, to not perpetuate them further."