Fashion Police has been put on extended hiatus in the wake of exits and controversies. Kelly Osbourne left the show as Kathy Griffin followed suit as the Fashion Police fallout began when Rancic suggested singer Zendaya‘s dreadlocks “smelled like patchouli oil … or weed” on the show’s post-Oscars telecast.
Kathy Griffin, who had replaced the late Joan Rivers as the grande dame of Fashion Police, had just announced via Twitter that she was following former panelist Kelly Osbourne‘s lead and quitting the show after seven episodes.
Kathy blamed the show for “a culture of unattainable perfection and intolerance toward difference” — and her publicity tour that followed (during which she called Fashion Police a “dog pile” on The View).
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that E! will put Fashion Police on an extended hiatus. The three remaining episodes scheduled to shoot this spring will be scrapped, giving the team time to recast and reboot. The new plan is to return in the fall with six or seven episodes tied to major events, including the Emmys.
Frances Berwick (NBCUniversal Lifestyle Networks Group president) says she and her team, along with Fashion Police executive producer Melissa Rivers, considered canceling the show in the wake of the departures. But ultimately they concluded they weren’t willing to give up on the 5-year-old franchise and it’s nearly 1 million loyal viewers (though the show has shed viewers without Joan Rivers).
“There was a lot of noise and drama that are really not helpful or additive to the creative process, but there’s a real love for this show,” explains Berwick, who adds with a laugh, “Given the focus on this, the ratings should really be the size of The Walking Dead.”
The network’s “mani cam” feature on red carpets has also been under heavy fire.
Berwick went on to say , “To the extent that this has all gotten very intense and serious — it’s meant to be fun,” “When it stops being fun or if we think that we’re offending or crossing a line, absolutely, that’s the time to re-evaluate and that’s what we’re doing, frankly, with things like the mani cam.”