Zendaya Coleman has accepted Giuliana Rancic’s video apology for saying her dreadlocks made her appear as if she smelled of patchouli oil and weed.
“I appreciate your apology and I’m glad it was a learning experience for you and for the network,” the Disney star wrote. “I hope that others negatively affected by her words can also find it in their hearts to accept her apology as well.”
During her E! News apology, Rancic said in part, “This really has been a learning experience for me — I’ve learned a lot today — and this incident has taught me to be a lot more aware of cliches and stereotypes, how much damage they can do. And that I am responsible, as we all are, to not perpetuate them further.”
Coleman reflected on the issue of prejudice in her statement.
“Studies have shown that even though we try to act without prejudice, sometimes it’s just hidden inside us due to our past or surroundings. That hidden prejudice is often influential in our actions. It’s our job to spot these issues within others and ourselves and destroy them before they become hurtful,” she wrote. “I have so many people looking up to me, that I couldn’t be scared, wait it out, nor could I just stand up for me; I had to do it for WE.”
She also seems to address those who responded to Rancic’s remarks with mean-spirited jabs, urging people not to be “hurtful.”
“Body shaming and other hurtful tactics will never get the job done,” she writes. “As hard as it was to stop MYSELF from being ignorant and from posting the first mean words that came to my mind because I was hurt, I had to think about the bigger picture. Instead I sat for two hours on my phone, doing my research and formulating an educated response.”
She closes by quoting Martin Luther King Jr.: “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
“Fashion Police” co-host Kelly Osbourne, who said she was considering leaving the show over the incident, she has yet to respond to Rancic’s second apology or Coleman’s reaction.
Read Coleman’s full statement below.