Aside from her apology, Giuliana Rancic is finally opening up for the first time about the controversial comments she made on Fashion Police regarding Zendaya Coleman and the repercussions she’s faced since.
In an interview with People, the 40-year-old host reveals that she truly didn’t believe her remarks about Coleman’s hair smelling of “patchouli oi and weed” would be taken as a racial slur. So when she read Coleman’s statement the following day, she was taken back.
“I read her statement and I was shocked,” Rancic admimts. “I made [the joke] as a reference to the hippie culture. It was a bohemian-chic reference, not about race, nor would it ever be. It was horrifying to have my name in a headline with words I have never been associated with in my life.”
However, she quickly did become associated with those words and with being a racist, and people lashed out”I started very quickly getting death threats,” Rancic recalls. “People were sending me pictures of the barrel of a gun saying, ‘I’m going to kill your family.’ It was awful.”
Rancic wants the world to know she does not condone any type of racial stereotyping and says the situation was the cause of bad editing. “On set, I made peace signs and I said boho twice,” says Rancic, who did not write the joke. “It was edited. And my words were taken out of context. If I thought this joke could be interpreted another way, I never would have done it. I felt horrible.”
She continues,”There were about 50 sets of eyeballs on set that day,” she says. “And not one person thought that it had the undertones that it ended up having once it aired because they heard it in context.”
“[The show] without Joan [Rivers] was difficult from episode one,” Rancic admits. “There were just all sorts of problems. I really believe it was only a matter of time before that specific show with that cast and that format fell apart.”
All in all she wants everyone to know she is deeply apologetic: “It was a very unfortunate incident,” she says. “I’m so regretful that people interpreted the joke [as they did]. I hurt people and I feel terrible about that. And I learned a really important lesson that if people are offended, it doesn’t matter the intent.”