Patricia Makris ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Copy Edited By: Lindsey Buttel ‘18
After a rocky and scandalous fourth season following the passing of host Joan Rivers, the E! Network announced Fashion Police would be placed on a three-month hiatus. While rumors about the show’s fate spread and fans voiced their opinions on social media, it was finally announced in September that the show would return for a fifth season on August 31.
From its humble beginnings as a daily, thirty-minute program in 2010, Fashion Police eventually became the pop culture powerhouse it is today. Consisting of three panelists (Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne, and George Kotsiopoulous) along with Rivers, each episode focused on celebrities and their outfit choices at various Hollywood events or simply when spotted out and about. Each panelist had an opportunity to critique while also providing key information, such as the designers. As a past red carpet interviewer and well known comedian, Rivers gave her opinions as host while also adding an occasional joke depending on how bad she thought an outfit was. Despite her harsh comments, audiences were entertained and continued to show support.
During Rivers time on Fashion Police, there was only one major controversy that took place behind the scenes. In April 2013, some of the show’s writers filed a complaint to the state of California, stating that the network was not paying their regular wages and overtime. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show was not covered by the WGA. While the network tried to deny the allegations, the writers decided to go on strike.
Unfortunately for those writers, many fans do not remember that incident. Instead, they have been caught up on the latest set of controversies that began on camera. Following Rivers passing, comedian Kathy Griffin became the new host. As for the panelists, stylist Brad Goreski replaced Kotsiopoulous. While many fans celebrated the show’s return, there was a notable decrease in ratings.
In an effort to restore some of the wit and laughter that was lacking, the writers began providing the panelists with more jokes. However, things took a nasty turn when one of Rancic’s scripted jokes, aimed toward teen actress Zendaya Coleman’s hair at the Academy Awards, was considered racist. Comments quickly flooded social media and Coleman actually posted a lengthy response on her social media accounts. All of the blame ultimately fell on Rancic rather than the writers, and she even lacked support from some of her co-panelists. Osbourne was first to announce her departure, followed by Griffin. In response to another cast shake-up, the network made the hiatus announcement.
Since its debut, season five has brought the show back on a positive track. Meanwhile similar shows, such as The View, that struggled with controversies during its previous season continue to suffer. The first correction Fashion Police was able to make involved the cast. Rather than running away and vacating her seat, Rancic returned with Goreski. Two seats were then left open for rotating guest panelists, but reality star Nene Leakes and comedian Margaret Cho have made the most appearances and received positive reviews. As for the host position, executive producer and the daughter of Rivers, Melissa Rivers, took over. Critics felt confident with Rivers because she reminds them of her mother and she knows how far to take a joke without it becoming offensive.
In the beginning of her first episode as host, she joked about Griffith and Osbourne’s departure by showing colorful pieces of hair, resembling the colors of Griffith and Osbourne’s, attached to a lint roller and explained, “I’m still cleaning up the mess.” Similarly, the view has seen multiple changes with its cast, but most have not been permanent. Whether they left by choice or were fired, there have been a total of seventeen co-hosts in nineteen seasons. Much like Fashion Police faced when trying to find a replacement for Rivers, The View has not found someone to embody the role Barbara Walters played before retiring after season seventeen. In some cases, The View has been so desperate that producers have asked former hosts to return, only for them to once again leave in some dramatic fashion.
Moreover, as Fashion Police works on “cleaning up the mess,” The View has made more of a mess in its new season. The most recent issue involved a hot topics discussion about the beauty pageant contestant who wore her nurse’s uniform on stage and gave a monologue during the talent portion of the competition. The co-hosts, specifically Joy Behar, did not realize she was an actual nurse and did not understand her choice for a talent. Behar, along with the rest of her co-hosts, received backlash for the comments and were accused of not valuing nurses. Sponsors of The View such as Johnston & Johnston abruptly ended their relationship with the show.
While most shows cannot recreate the success it once had or find the perfect team to work together, keeping a positive message and taking responsibility for their actions will ensure that the support from fans will not go away. As for Fashion Police, there is strong reason to believe it will survive well beyond this season.
Fashion Police airs Mondays 8/7c on E!