Kelly Osbourne leaves Fashion Police amid growing criticism about the show
Amid a tidal wave of criticism claiming that Fashion Police erred in allowing a joke about Zendaya’s hair to make it on air after the Oscars, Kelly Osbourne has decided to leave the show.
“Kelly Osbourne is departing E!s Fashion Police to pursue other opportunities,” E! announced 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.”
E! went on to say the show will return as scheduled on Friday, March 30, at 9 p.m., and that no decisions have been made on her replacement.
Osbourne, 30, launched the show with Giuliana Rancic, Joan Rivers and George Kotsiopoulos in 2010. The show returned for its fourth season after the Golden Globes, with Kathy Griffin replacing Rivers.
After Rancic, 40, made the comment about Zendaya’s dreadlocks and how they looked like they smelled of “patchouli” or “weed,” Osbourne threatened on Twitter to leave the show unless “the situation” was “rectified like ADULTS by both parties.” She also went on to say that 18-year-old Zendaya is a friend.
Osbourne’s tweets were fueled, in part, because of the reaction from Zendaya, who said on Instagram how “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. Not because I was relishing in rave outfit reviews, but because I was hit with ignorant slurs and pure disrespect.”
Rancic first apologized via Twitter by writing that she meant to refer to Zendaya’s dreadlocks “as a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!” She also apologized at length during an E! News broadcast later that day.
“I’ve learned a lot today, and this incident has taught me to be a lot more aware of clichés and stereotypes, how much damage they can do – and that I am responsible, as we all are, to not perpetuate them further.”
Zendaya, who stars on the Disney Channel show K.C. Undercover accepted her apology. “I hope others negatively affected by her words can also find it in their hearts to accept her apology as well,” she said.
Criticism toward Rancic didn’t slow down after her apologies. The women of The View and The Talk took swipes at the E! personality, who attempted to deflect some blame by telling Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush on Thursday that she didn’t write the joke. It came from one of the writers, Bush reported, and it originally included a follow-up crack about Zendaya “going on tour with the Grateful Dead.”
Meanwhile, a source tells PEOPLE that Osbourne was frustrated about how little the network had been using her, especially during the awards season. “What’s funny is Kelly was fighting for airtime and wanted to talk on the Oscar show,” the source said.
• With reporting by JEN GARCIA