E! has announced that Fashion Police, the show created by Joan Rivers that pokes fun at celebrities over their red-carpet looks, is taking a break until September this year. Since Rivers’s passing, the show has been battling to maintain its credibility and perhaps justify its primetime slot sans the queen of canned comedy herself.
The four show panelists were Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osborne, Brad Goreski and newbie Kathy Griffin, with Melissa Rivers as executive producer. Last month, the show came under fire when Rancic passed an off-colour joke about US actor-singer Zendaya Coleman’s Oscars look.
Sporting freshly locked hair on the red carpet, Rancic said the teenager must smell of “patchouli” and “weed”. Co-panelist Osborne distanced herself from comments saying Zendaya is a friend.
She tweeted, “I did not make the weed comment. I do not condone racism so as a result of this I’m seriously questioning staying on the show.” Osborne left the show shortly afterwards.
Zendaya responded in a widely shared Instagram post condemning the show host for being offensive and berating her for crossing the line between being funny and disrespectful.
“To say that an 18 year old young woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil or weed is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive,” she wrote, and went on to list her family members as well as top achievers and respected members of the community who wear locks – and don’t smell like weed.
Rancic apologised on air for making the comments and stated that she didn’t mean to offend. Just a few days ago, Griffin abruptly quit the show, declaring in a statement that, “I discovered that my style does not fit with the creative direction of the show and now it’s time to move on,” she declared in a statement last Thursday.
With Rancic and Goreski as the only remaining panelists, it is unclear whether the show will actually return but channel executives are saying that break will give the show an opportunity to be refreshed in time for the next awards season.
Reactions to the recent announcements:
I see @kathygriffin quit the Fashion Police; gee they’re droppin’ like flies! Finally, I can wear a sweatsuit to the Oscars without fear…
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) March 17, 2015
Fashion Police on ice till September. GOOD
— Anele Mdoda (@Anele) March 18, 2015
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) March 18, 2015