When Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic made a disparaging comment on the programme about Zendaya's hair at the Oscars in 2015, the young actress didn't take it lying down. The actress called Rancic out publicly on her "offensive comments" and now, reflecting on the incident, she is glad she took a stand.
Zendaya realised she wanted to have a "lasting impact" on representations of people of colour following a row over her hair at the 2015 Academy Awards.
The Greatest Showman actress was mocked by then-Fashion Police co-host Giuliana Rancic who joked her dreadlocks made her look like she "smells like patchouli oil and weed".
At the time, Zendaya defended herself on Instagram and accused Giuliana of being "outrageously offensive", and now the 24-year-old star has reflected on the controversial incident.
Speaking to W magazine about the row and her decision to speak out, she said: "That's how change happens. And it made me think, 'How could I always have a lasting impact on what people saw and associated with People of Color?'"
After the Fashion Police Oscars special had aired, the Euphoria actress branded Giuliana's comments "ignorant" and disrespectful.
She wrote on Instagram: "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.
"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. I don't usually feel the need to respond to negative things but certain remarks cannot go unchecked."
Zendaya went on to highlight a number of successful African Americans, including Terry McMillan and Ava DuVernay, who all sport the same hairstyle and "none of which smell of marijuana".
She added: "I suggest some people should listen to India Arie's I Am Not My Hair and contemplate a little, before opening your mouth so quickly to judge."
Rancic then offered an apology via Twitter, insisting she meant her comments as "referring to a bohemian chic look".
She added: "Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!"