The E! personality told Billy Bush that the now-infamous diss was written by someone else

By People Staff
Updated February 26, 2015 08:00 PM
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Credit: Steve Granitz/Wireimage; Jason Merritt/Getty

Giuliana Rancic didn’t write the joke, she just told it.

That’s what Billy Bush says the E! News anchor told him amid reports that the now infamous exchange about Zendaya on Monday’s Fashion Police was taped multiple times.

On Thursday night’s edition of Access Hollywood, Bush said he reached out to Rancic, who denied a rumor about how the segment – in which she said Zendaya looked like she smelled of “weed” and “patchouli” because of her dreadlocks – was taped three times.

“They did the show all the way through,” Bush said. “Like any show, you nip and tuck it [later] to fit it into one hour. None of those segments were done multiple times.”

Bush also said Rancic denied writing the joke. Bush “made some calls” and learned that it was penned by a Fashion Police writer who originally wanted to include a follow-up crack about Zendaya “going on tour with the Grateful Dead,” Bush explained.

“That joke was a written joke, which means, a lot of people involved and nobody saw racism in this at all,” Bush said. “I don’t think they would have put it on the air several hours later if there was.”

One source close to E! News wondered why the joke wasn’t given to comedian Kathy Griffin instead.

After Rancic said she was sorry on air, Zendaya accepted her apology, writing on Instagram, “I’m glad it was a learning experience for you and for the network.”

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