“We all know Hollywood has received recent and quite a bit of criticism for casting white actors in what one might assume should be a role reserved for colored people,” Robach said during a segment about Zendaya’s role as Mary Jane in the upcoming “Spider-Man” reboot.
Robach issued an mea culpa after receiving instant backlash. Robach told the Associated Press that she meant to use the term “people of color.” She called the incident “a mistake” and said it’s “not at all a reflection of how I feel or speak in my everyday life.”
“We no longer use the term colored people, although once upon a time that was a term in use,” Deborah E. McDowell, director of the University of Virginia’s Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, told AP. “Now the preferred usage is people of color if you are speaking about people of color broadly. If you are referring specifically to African-Americans, people will frequently be specific and refer to us as African-Americans.”
This is not the first time that Zendaya has been the target of racially charged comments. Giuliana Rancic came under fire last year for a remark she made during an E! “Fashion Police” segment on the Oscars about the young singer’s hairstyle choice.
“The hair to me on her is making her a little more boho. Like I feel like she smells like patchouli oil. Or weed,” Rancic said.