Humor Magazine

Wait, Maybe ‘Fashion Police’ Just Sucks

By Katie Hoffman @katienotholmes

I hadn’t planned on writing anything about this, so this may be abrupt and a bit scatterbrained, but I feel it’s something that needs to be said.

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid pop culture in the weeks following the Oscars, you may not have heard that on the E! network’s series Fashion Police, Giuliana Rancic made a racist, rude, inappropriate, and just plain mean remark about actress/singer Zendaya’s faux dreadlocks. She remarked that, “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil and weed.” In the wake of this controversy, Kelly Osbourne quit the show and now Kathy Griffin has also quit Fashion Police. Many people are showing support for Griffin’s decision and are celebrating her choice not to compromise who she is as a comedienne and a person to remain at the helm of Fashion Police. But. Where was this moment of clarity when Joan Rivers was hosting? Fashion Police has always been bitchy and downright mean. Always.

From where I sit, it feels like we’ve all been tippy-toeing around the inherent mean-ness of Fashion Police for years just because Joan Rivers was involved, and she’s Joan Rivers: The Legend. Well, let me be the bad guy, then. This doesn’t question her legacy or discredit the career she built for herself, but Joan Rivers was mean on Fashion Police. That doesn’t excuse what Rancic said, and it definitely doesn’t mean Rivers herself would have said the same thing or anything similar, but there’s a precedent for the type of commentary that takes place on that show, and it was set by Rivers. Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that anyone signing on to be the host of the series wouldn’t be cognizant of the established, largely negative tone. Maybe that’s unfair to assume, but let’s not pretend that Fashion Police has ever been anything other than exactly what it is: A group of people with questionable ties to the fashion world (whatever that means anyway) policing what people wear by dishing out zippy one-liners that are often playful ad hominem attacks.

Fashion Police by design cannot be anything but exclusionary and elitist, because unlike the actual, real police that are supposed to enforce laws, there is no jurisdiction for fashion. Fashion is its own living, breathing, subjective thing. We’re all guilty of judging how people look and insulting what people wear, but we shouldn’t glorify it by giving it a platform, even a platform as thirsty as the E! network. So, I guess, go ahead and congratulate Kathy Griffin for quitting something that has been pretty bankrupt of merit and empathy from the very beginning. Be an optimist and believe Griffin was being a hero instead of saving herself from a sinking ship that likely cannot stay afloat without Joan Rivers. If you ask me, though, Fashion Police should just be cancelled. Not just because Joan Rivers isn’t hosting anymore. Not just because of Zendaya. Not just because Kelly Osbourne left and now Kathy Griffin. Fashion Police should end because it perpetuates a shitty message, and it always has. Amid the hosting changes and controversy, I think maybe now we can all finally see that it has run its course. Perhaps Osbourne and Griffin agree with that sentiment, and in that case, good for them for choosing to leave, but it’s a helluva lot easier to be principled when your principles are being called into question, isn’t it?

So E!, would you do us all a favor? Get rid of Fashion Police and come up with some new entertaining garbage for us to watch that isn’t based on being judgmental, bitchy, and dismissive. Surely there’s room in the schedule for another Kardashian spin-off? Aren’t there some other rich kids whose lives we should be following?

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