Zendaya: 'I let go of my publicist over black girl remark'

By admin
03 June 2016

Zendaya fired a former publicist over a racially-insensitive mark she made during a photoshoot.

The star was unhappy about the way her hair and makeup looked for the shoot and she complained about it to her publicist, who had a shocking response.

"My publicist told me, 'You should just be happy with it - they haven't had a black girl on the cover since forever,' she tells Cosmopolitan magazine. "She's no longer my publicist."

The 19-year-old has been vocal about diversity issues in Hollywood. In February, 2015, Zendaya verbally sparred with Fashion Police co-host Giuliana Rancic after she joked the teen looked like she smelled of "patchouli... maybe weed" while commenting on the hippie-style dreadlocks the actress and singer debuted on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Coleman fired back, branding the remarks "offensive" and "disrespectful," and Rancic subsequently apologised.

Read more: Zendaya forgives Giuliana for ‘racist’ dreadlock remark

Zendaya previously stated it was important to take a stand over the comments to show fans they needed to face their tormentors and challenge anyone making derogatory remarks about women.

The strength she gained from he stand-off with Rancic - and the positive feedback she received - helped her make the decision to return to the Disney Channel to star in and co-produce hit new show K.C. Undercover.

"The only way I was going to come back to the Disney Channel was if I was in a position of more power," she says. "One thing that is really important to me is diversity on the channel. It's hard as a young person of a different ethnicity or background to look at the TV and not see anyone who looks like you. Representation is very important."

Read more: Zendaya: Stay in school, kids!

In the new Cosmopolitan interview, Zendaya also opens up about her dating life after she was linked to American football star Odell Beckham, Jr. - but she insists they are just friends.

"We went to some events together, because we're friends," she previously told 92.3 AMP Radio. "We were with a group, we were with multiple people. I was with my stylist."

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