Crisis Communication: Giuliana Rancic Trashes Zendaya

Zendaya at the 2015 Oscars : Courtesy of  Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Zendaya at the 2015 Oscars : Courtesy of Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

On the Monday, February 23rd episode of E!’s “Fashion Police”, co-hosts Giuliana Rancic played her part in the show’s ritual of pointing out fashion “no’s” and “don’t’s” of the 2015 Oscars. In reference to actress Zendaya’s hair, she made a comment that at the time she felt was ok to say as a part of the show’s teasing ritual. Zendaya sported faux dread locs along with her gorgeous Vivienne Westwood silk gown.

Rancic didn’t care for the hairstyle as she went to further voice her opinion stating: “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil… or maybe weed.” Now everyone is entitled to their own opinion but there is already a stereotype of African Americans and dread locs. For Rancic to say that Zendaya’s locs looked as if they smelled of weed was way over the line.  Rancic appears as a bully and racist making those statements about an 18 year old rising entertainer.

Zendaya took the high road in her response:

Screenshot 2015-02-24 15.01.02

Giuliana attempts to apologize via Twitter however the damage is too far done.

Screenshot 2015-02-24 15.04.19 One person emphasized on twitter than Rancic adored Kylie Jenner’s (Caucasian American) faux locs at one point calling them “edgy” and “urban.”

"This is why we get mad"
“This is why we get mad”

This comparison doesn’t really help with the issue of racism that’s still prevalent in American…and Patricia Arquette wants us to lose focus on this and focus mainly on wage inequality for women?!?!  We women can’t even get past the color of our skins!

Check out an article featuring some response tweets  in The Grio.

Key take-a-way: No matter how many short term laughs she may have gotten, it was completely over-shadowed by something Giuliana will have to deal with in the long-term: being deemed racist and a bully.  Rancic should truly attempt to reach out to Zendaya personally and then release an official statement apology not only to Zendaya but to everyone else she offended making that statement.  This too shall pass for Rancic however there will be many that will never forget Giuliana’s remarks, not a very good highlight in her career.  Hopefully she will be able to successfully continue to do TV without any further remarks of that extent.

If Fashion Police had a black co-host, do you think they would have let Rancic get away with the comment without addressing it on-air?  Do you think her  E! News co-host Terrance J will or has confided with Rancic as a person of color his views?

Dealing with today’s society and judicial system

Recently, there has been a lot of press about the Sandford, Florida case involving the death of Trayvon Martin.  If you haven’t heard, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed but George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman when Trayvon was going back to his father’s girlfriend home after coming from the store.  Trayvon’s hoodie made him seem suspicious to Zimmerman because the neighborhood had been having a lot of break-ins.  Zimmerman called 9-1-1 and still followed Martin, even after the 9-1-1 operator advised him not to do that.

Zimmerman was armed and he intentionally went after Martin, even though we found out Martin was unarmed.  Martin was almost half the size of Zimmerman and Zimmerman claimed that he shot Martin in self-defense.  In recent updates, Zimmerman claimed Martin went after the gun.  Here’s the thing, wouldn’t Zimmerman have to physically show Martin that he had a gun, meaning he pulled it out again Martin?  If I was walking back home and someone kept following me and they had a gun, my defense skills would kick it in.  I would have to decide whether or not to run and possibly get shot in the back or reach for the gun before he could shoot me.  I would have tried to reach for the gun as well but I highly doubt the Martin could physically overpower Zimmerman.

Other updates in the media are now trying to portray Martin as a bad person because he was suspended from school for supposedly have marijuana on his persons.  At the moment, I’m not sure how true that is but that has nothing to do with this case.  Trayvon’s murder will continue to go in vain until Zimmerman is arrested and charged.  He has not been arrested because of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.  The law states that a person can use deadly force in self-defense if they believe they are a threat.

I’m not lawyer (yet) but I do know that because of the Sandford Police dept.’s failure to further investigate and to hold Zimmerman in custody until more answers are clear, Zimmerman will always have to look over his shoulder.  The police department didn’t thoroughly investigate and took Zimmerman’s word for it like “Ok, he’s using the Stand Your Ground defense, he’s free to go” and that’s not right.  Because Zimmerman is still free, he may have to stay in hiding for a long time.  I wrote the Sandford Police dept. saying that they should have kept Zimmerman in custody and not taken his word of self-defense as is because the public may take the law into their own hands and that’s no good for anyone.

What really upsets me is people talking bad about other people on social media for spreading the message of this case.  Many people have blamed other people for only knowing about this case via social media.  Truth be told, many people find out news through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  When the earthquake on the east coast happened not but only a few months ago, everyone on twitter were instantly talking about it.  It took the news 30 minutes to write a quick story about it.  Don’t be mad at people for spreading the word through social media.  Some people don’t even watch the news anymore, sad but true.  I do think it’s important to watch the news and find out information for yourself instead of relying solely on social media.

One thing we do know, social media can affect change.  We’ve seen it during the Troy Davis case where a wrongfully convicted man was sentenced to death on September 21, 2011.  Because we spread Troy’s execution date through social media, the case got so much attention that it briefly halted the execution.  I hope, for Trayvon’s case, his offender is properly charged and convicted and does not continue to keep his freedom.  Trayvon’s parents need justice and closure.