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:

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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?

Crisis Communication: Patricia Arquette Stands for women equality ONLY

Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images via
Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images via

Winning an Oscar is the highest honor for an actor/actress in Hollywood. Using that winning moment as a platform to talk about an issue is most admirable.

I watched a clip of Patricia Arquette giving an interview after her acceptance speech at the 2015 Oscars, implying that supporters of gay rights and minority rights should focus more on support women’s rights.

Now of course there are several issues going on in the world. Celebrities generally tend to focus on one specific issue that resonates with the the most and will speak on it when the opportunity presents itself to convey the message across the masses. This chance for Patricia was at the 2015 Oscars on February 22nd. Her speech was empowering but she elaborated in her post-speech interview to the point where others saw her views and issues she supports as “more important” than what’s already mainstream trending issues from her perspective.

Patricia then went to twitter to defend her point.  Her first 3 tweets after February 22 were fine then she made an assumption, questioning why others haven’t supported women’s rights when she clearly supported rights for the LBGT community.

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She then went to state that she didn’t care about if supporters for other issues are pissed, stating on Twitter that wage inequality adversely affects women.

Screenshot 2015-02-23 23.36.48

This was a poor decision on her part in my opinion.  Patricia is basically assuming no one cares for wage equality for women as much as equal rights for minorities or for the LBGT community.

Her message would have been received better if Patricia would have just stayed within her range of highlighting her particular issue of choice instead of comparing it to other issues that she is not as passionate about, clearly.  To some of the public Patricia only highlighted that she is already a privileged women who is white so her stands may appear to be an attempt to be even more privileged.  Some would debate on the importance of being more privileged versus not even having the chance to be privileged at all.  A good example of that is how The Academy selects their nominees for Oscar categories, clearly showing a lack of diverse nominees in the 2015 pool…but that’s another blog post.

Wage inequality for women also affects minority women and LBGT women so it would appear that this was not considered to have a negative consequence when she requested all others to stand for wage inequality when those affected by wage inequality stood for minority and gay rights.  How would one go about measuring this anyway?  If there are surveys measuring what percentage of women affected by wage inequality supported minority rights, PLEASE send me the link.

Point that should be taken:  It’s fine to focus on one thing at a time and remember nothing is a competition when resolving issues.  As long as all issues find resolution, they should be regarding as marathons, not races.  It will take time and patience for a resolution to be determined.  At this point, Patricia should acknowledge that her remarks were taken out of context and apologize for any assumptions that were made on her part as well as the media’s part.  She should then continue to focus on her passion platform: wage inequality for ALL women.