Kathy Griffin on Giuliana Rancic 'Fashion Police' Controversy: 'I Wouldn't Have Said' the Zendaya Joke
By Antoinette Bueno
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Fashion Police host Kathy Griffin isn't exactly backing up Giuliana Rancic after the longtime E! television personality came under fire last month for joking that former Shake It Up star Zendaya Coleman's dreadlocks hairstyle at the Oscars smelled like "patchouli oil ... or weed."
Rancic publicly apologized after Zendaya called out the 40-year-old host in an eloquent Instagram that received plenty of support from fellow celebs like Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Chloe Moretz and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
When asked if people would have reacted so strongly if Griffin had made the joke instead of Rancic, Griffin tells the Chicago Sun-Times' Splashmagazine, "Probably not."
"But I wouldn't have said the joke in the first place," she adds. "Some dude wrote it for her."
The 54-year-old comedian also says she gave an especially important piece of advice to Rancic following the backlash.
"Don't have anyone write you jokes or even suggest jokes for you on Fashion Police," she says. "You have enough great insider gossip from actually being ON the red carpet. That's what fans want to hear the next day. Just talk and be yourself."
Griffin admits the long-running E! show can be dated, revealing that the show wanted to have a running segment called "Whore Score" but she refused.
"My approach is ALWAYS to go for the laugh, be as inappropriate as possible, but also change with the times," she explains. "Comedy requires evolution as much as any business. My goal would be to bring the comedic sensibility of any show I enter or take over into a more modern way of thinking … and laughing. The show wanted to do a running segment called 'Whore Score.' Um, no thanks. I think we can do better."
As for Kelly Osbourne's outspoken comments that she was unhappy about the controversy -- then subsequently quitting Fashion Policeafter five years on the show -- Griffin says she doesn't know if Rancic's comments directly caused Osbourne's departure.
"Sometimes she seemed very upset at the merely seven tapings of Fashion Police we did together," she commented. "I can tell you this: I adore that family. ... Kelly came to my house a couple of times when Joan was in the hospital and we were consoling each other. I can tell you there was genuine love there."