Apparently only Rivers has the constitution to call it like she saw them and deflect criticism.
Her replacement, tart-tongued Kathy Griffin is the latest to cut and run after the blow up over -ex-co-host Giuliana Rancic’s red-carpet criticism of African-American singer-actress Zendaya.
Kelly Osbourne was the first to flee the show Feb. 27. She criticized E! for mishandling an apology from Rancic, who eventually wallowed in contrition in a written statement and, again, on the show.
At least Osbourne had an excuse. “You guys do realize that @Zendaya is my friend, right?” she said in a Tweet.
The daughter of heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne is known as one of the biggest air kissers in Hollywood. So she may have been ill-suited for the show anyway. With no discernible talent, she gets by on her “friends.”
But her comment raises a delicate question: How can E! get unbiased criticism of celebrities by celebrities? They all tend to move in the same circles and when you get down to it, Hollywood really is a small town with big egos.
But Griffin is another matter. She’s known for her barbed comments and sharp wit. E! knew what it was getting when they put her on the show. Or did it?
Rancic caused the uproar when she commented on Zendaya’s heavy-looking dreadlocks. She said they created the impression she smelled of patchouli oil or weed. Griffin followed up with her own weed comment, without showing any outward signs of concern.
But the 18-year-old singer and actress blew up on social media, accusing Rancic of racism for associating dreadlocks, normally worn by African-Americans, with marijuana.
The comment was an obvious play off singer Bob Marley who was known for dreadlocks and pot.
If Griffin was upset about what was said, it’s news because she’s said far worse in her stand-up routines. “I have a no-apology policy,” she once explained.
“I have no limits, no filter, no class, no poise. No decorum. Just fun,” she said another time. She’s slammed everyone from Mariah Carey to Gwyneth Paltrow and Jon Hamm.
Of Whitney Houston she once said: “She’s wearing an overcoat with a fur collar and a fedora. And with her sweating issues, that was not smart. By the end of the song, she’s gonna be a puddle.”
“I saw Tommy Lee at an award show two weeks ago, and I got crabs just from looking at him,” she said in another bit.
But somehow she feigned offense at Rancic’s comment, even after she made her own weed joke. What gives?
Even more bizarre were the reasons stated in her resignation announcement after just seven shows.
“There is plenty to make fun of in pop culture without bringing people’s bodies into it. … I do not want to use my comedy to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance towards difference,” she posted.
Was she kidding?
The 54-year-old comic used to revel because she was on the “D-List.” It gave her more freedom, she said. Now she must be bucking for a promotion.
At this point, it’s hard to tell whether the political correctness is self-imposed or coming from the cable network.
Some reports claim that producers on the show fed Rancic the weed line, which suggests they were pushing for edgier comments.
But Griffin said she was leaving because the show’s “creative direction,” did not mesh with her own, which suggests she was being muzzled.
In the wake of the incident, Griffin’s mantra is nothing, if not PC. She said in her statement she likes to find the “funny in all people…but only when appropriate.” What the hell does that mean?
She also claimed she would not have made the weed comment, even though she made a joke off of it on the show.
Her resignation statement was so couched in political correctness it read like it was penned by a Politburo hack.
To save face, and possibly the show, E! plans to bring back Rivers’ daughter Melissa Rivers to act as a co-host. Rancic and Brad Goreski still remain.
But after everything that’s gone down, it’s hard to see how the show will be anything but a love fest.
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