It's official: Zendaya is our hero.
After writing a passionate and intelligent defence of her dreadlocks after "Fashion Police" co-host Giuliana Rancic made fun of her hair during the 2015 Oscars, the young actress has again shown us her grace and maturity.
On Tuesday, Giuliana issued a public apology to Zendaya on E! News for saying her dreads made it look as if she "smells like patchouli oil … or maybe weed."
"Something I said last night did cross the line," she said in her apology. "I didn't intend to hurt anybody, but I've learned it's not my intent that matters, it's the result.
"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."
Zendaya graciously accepted the apology by posting an eloquent response:
"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," she wrote. "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. 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. It is important in this journey to remember that just because someone has inflicted hurt upon us, it does not give us the right to do the same. Body shaming and other hurtful tactics will never get the job done. 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."
It was with that same intelligence in which Zendaya wrote her initial response to Giuliana's racist remarks, which she posted on Twitter.
"There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful," she wrote. "Someone said something about my hair at the Oscars that left me in awe," she wrote. "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."
In her Instagram statement on Wednesday, the 18-year-old accepted Giuliana's apology and asked others to follow her lead.
"Giuliana, I appreciate your apology and I'm glad it was a learning experience for you and for the network," she wrote. "I hope that others negatively affected by her words can also find it in their hearts to accept her apology as well. From a quote we all know by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 'Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.' Let's be that light and spread that love."
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