Two months ago, Zendaya had to make a choice. “Fashion Police” co-host Giuliana Rancic’s controversial comments about her hair had gone viral, and the “Replay” singer knew she could either let the remarks go, or speak up and defend herself.
She chose to speak up.
After Zendaya got word that the E! co-host critiqued the long ’locs hairstyle she rocked on the Oscars red carpet by saying it looked like she smelled “like patchouli oil” and “weed,” Zenaya took to Instagram to slam those “outrageously offensive” stereotypes.
“In any situation in life, you are going to be faced with things that are hurtful or faced with things that you might have to use your voice to stand up for yourself, and I just felt like that was one of those moments,” Zendaya told MTV News on Wednesday (April 22). “So I pulled myself together, I became that 18-year-old woman and I thought about what my parents had taught me and what they had instilled in me — being educators — and I took my time and crafted something that I felt like was the right way to respond to something like that, while making it something positive, making it something that would educate people.”
But Zendaya, who admitted that she “didn’t know what people were going to say” about her statement, wasn’t just doing this to defend herself, she was also standing up for all the kids out there who get teased.
“I just wanted that young kid out there that may be getting teased about whatever to know that they have a voice,” she explained, “and they can stand up for themselves, and it’s not OK to say whatever.”
Seriously, this girl is just amazing.
Zendaya got an apology from Giuliana in the days following the controversy, which she accepted. As for the future of “Fashion Police,” which is set to return, with Rancic, in the fall?
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
“Honestly, I don’t really know. It’s not my show, I’m not a producer on it,” Z said. “I have my own show [Disney’s “K.C. Undercover”], and I know what my show is all about: We focus on positive and we focus on empowerment and that’s the producing of my show that I want to create — that’s all.”
If “Fashion Police” does decide to make it all about positivity after this hiatus, they probably shouldn’t can bet on the onetime friend of the show making an appearance.
“I have no idea,” Zendaya responded when we asked if she would return. “I think I’m going to be too busy with music and shoes and the show, it’s going to be never-ending.”