Kelly Osbourne leaves Fashion Police after Zendaya dreadlocks racism row

E! says Osbourne is departing ‘to pursue other opportunities’

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The Independent Online

Kelly Osbourne is leaving the acerbic show Fashion Police, E!Entertainment has confirmed, days after a racism row broke out over comments made by one of its hosts.

Her departure follows a post-Oscar edition of the series where host Giuliana Rancic said of actress Zendaya Coleman’s hairstyle: “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil", to which another host added: "or weed?"

Rancic replied: "yeah, maybe weed". Some people wrongly believed the "or weed" comment was made by Osbourne, who immediately denied any involvement in the comments, writing on Twitter: “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!”

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Zendaya Coleman at the 2015 Oscars

Rancic later came under fire from Zendaya and Osbourne, among others, and issued two grovelling apologies, saying “this really has been a learning experience for me”. 

"There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful. Someone said something about my hair at the Oscars that left me in awe," Zendaya posted on Twitter after the episode aired.

"I was hit with ignorant slurs and pure disrespect. To say that an 18 year old young woman with locs [dreadlocks] must smell of patchouli oil or 'weed' is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive. I don't usually feel the need to respond to negative things, but certain remarks cannot go unchecked."

E! said the series will air next as scheduled on 30 March. No decision has been made on Osbourne's replacement, the channel said.

"Kelly Osbourne is departing E!s Fashion Police to pursue other opportunities," E! said in a statement on Friday. "We would like to thank her for her many contributions to the series over the past five years, during which time the show became a hit with viewers."

Osbourne's publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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