Kelly Osbourne has quit the E! network show “Fashion Police” in the wake of a racially insensitive joke made by her co-host Giuliana Rancic during coverage of the Academy Awards, according to Variety.
Rancic was heavily criticized for saying 18-year-old biracial actress Zendaya’s dreadlocks smelled “like patchouli oil … or weed” on the red carpet. The actress fought back on social media, saying the remark crossed the “fine line between what is funny and what is disrespectful.”
Osbourne was swift to condemn the comment on social media, tweeting two days after the Oscars: “I DID NOT MAKE THE WEED COMENT. I DO NOT CONDONE RACISM SO AS A RSULT OF THIS IM SEREIOULSY QUESTIONONIG STAYING ON THE SHOW!”
When Rancic offered an extensive on-air apology, which was later accepted by Zendaya, Osbourne appeared to have put the controversy behind her. “It takes a strong women to apologize & makes a forgiving women even stronger! #ThisTooShallPass,” she tweeted on Feb. 25.
No official word on why Osbourne is departing has been given, but E! did release a statement thanking her for her “contributions to the series over the past five years.”
Meanwhile, Zendaya has been widely praised for the stand she took against stereotyping. “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 tweeted in the initial aftermath of the Oscars. “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.”
After being showered with support from such luminaries as “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, the Disney Channel star said on Instagram, “It is important in this journey to remember that just because someone has afflicted hurt upon us, it does not give us the right to do the same. Body shaming and other harmful tactics will never get the job done.”