Former “Fashion Police” host George Kotsiopoulos is weighing in on Giuliana Rancic’s on-air Oscars flub. The 46-year-old host joked that Zendaya Coleman’s dreadlocks made her look as though she “smelled of patchouli oil and weed.” Outraged Twitter users suggested the comment was racially charged and demanded Rancic be fired. She has since apologized for the comments, blaming it on bad editing. According to her account, “the joke was not edited in the proper way.” She alleges that she said the word “boho” and made peace gestures with her fingers. Kotsiopoulos is speaking out on these claims, saying it seems “a little messed up.”
“To not own up to what you said and to blame it on others is just a little messed up,” he told People magazine during a hosting gig in Chicago Wednesday.
Kotsiopoulos, who did not return to the show after the tragic death of co-host Joan Rivers, adds that he was skeptical in believing that Rancic hadn’t written the joke for herself. The fashion consultant claimed he “was never scripted,” adding, “what I said were my own words, was my own opinion.” He claimed Kelly Osbourne, who left the show shortly after the comment was made, didn’t work off a script either.
Osbourne, who recently landed a job hosting the 2015 MTV Movie Awards red carpet, also had a thing or two to say about Rancic’s remarks. She told People she has chosen to remain silent on the matter for the most part, but shared that it was “heartbreaking” for her to see how Rancic has been handling the entire situation.
“There’s been so much drama surrounded by what went on at ‘Fashion Police’ that I have chosen to keep quiet about,” she said. “I will [continue to keep quiet] because I don’t think it will do anyone service, but I will say this: Giuliana is not often wrong. She really isn’t, but it’s been really, really heartbreaking to see her behavior that has transpired when she did get caught being wrong. That’s what broke my heart.”
In an April 2 interview with People, Rancic discussed how heavy the backlash from her slip-of-the-tongue weighed on her. The 40-year-old told the magazine she had received hateful messages on Twitter targeting her weight and threatening her family.
“People were sending me pictures of the barrel of a gun saying, ‘I’m going to kill your family.’ It was awful,” she shared.
According to an interview Rancic did with Extra on Wednesday, she continued to defend herself, saying the joke was written by someone else. She added that she doesn’t blame the writer, as he could not have predicted the joke would cause this much controversy, but that it hurt her deeply to be called racist.Still, Rancic plans to return to “Fashion Police.” The show, which is now down two hosts since Osbourne and Kathy Griffin quit, is on hiatus until September. She says she, Brad Goreski and the show’s writers are taking time to focus on “the actual show itself and the format.”