Zendaya sat down with W Magazine for a cover story that tackled her life during COVID, her work on Malcolm and Marie and a 2015 feud with former Fashion Police co-host Giuliana Rancic.
Rancic made racially charged jokes about Zendaya's choice to wear dreadlocks on the Oscars red carpet, saying the hairstyle made the actress look like “she smells like patchouli oil or weed.”
She heard the remark, and recalled thinking: “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?"”
In 2015, Zendaya called Rancic's comments “outrageously offensive.”
“There is already a harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair,” she said.
After the incident, and her inspired reaction, Mattel created a Barbie doll modeled on Zendaya.