The most controversial E! Fashion Police moments ever

Fashion Police has been making waves since 2002. The controversial E! program has crafted a brand of celebrity commentary so biting that it begs the question: "How mean is too mean?"

Joan Rivers, who hosted the show until her death in 2014, made a brilliant career out of offensive one-liners. She led the charge alongside Giuliana Rancic, who was the only hostess to appear in a whopping 308 episodes and specials. For this group, which eventually evolved into a revolving cast including Kelly Osbourne, NeNe Leakes, Margaret Cho, and Melissa Rivers, no joke was off limits — whether it was teasing pregnant women or deeply offending Holocaust survivors.

Naturally, not all of the Fashion Police jokes landed the way the cast hoped, and the hosts regularly fielded complaints from celebrities, social activists, and the Anti Defamation League (and also more than a few angry Twitter users.) The constant criticism eventually led to the show's cancellation in 2017, two years after the program was put on hiatus following a racial uproar involving Rancic.

Rivers unarguably made her mark with the controversial show, even if the program struggled to soldier on after her passing, and though the late comedian had a knack for making offensive jokes somehow feel less squeamish — or at least justified by the umbrella of humor — the following conversations definitely took it too far. Here are some of the most controversial E! Fashion Police moments ever.

Joan Rivers' Holocaust joke went nuclear

Joking about the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of millions of people, is never a good call. There's just no way that's going to land without major offence, but Joan Rivers was never one to tow the shallow waters of political correctness. Admittedly, she maybe should have censored herself before likening German-American model Heidi Klum's curves to Nazi death camps.

In 2013, Rivers fielded complaints from the Anti-Defamation League after complimenting Heidi Klum's hip-hugging Oscar dress by saying, "The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens."

Despite the uproar, Rivers, who was Jewish herself, refused to apologize for the offensive joke. "This is the way I remind people about the Holocaust. I do it through humor," she told Showbiz Tonight. "My husband lost his entire family in the Holocaust."

Though Rivers claimed her joke didn't bother Klum, the model told a different story to Extra"I'm not that kind of comedic person myself, so I don't know if she has a thick skin. I guess she can handle it. I don't know. I do feel for the people that have lost — you know — family members …" she said. " …I don't know if it's always good to joke about things like that. That's not my personal humor."

Rivers has been widely criticized for anti-Semitic humor throughout her career, especially after she likened Costco banning her book to Nazi Germany.  

George Kotsiopoulos body shames a pregnant woman

The miracle of life is beautiful, at least according to most people. When it comes to the Fashion Police, your baby bumps better look good too, or you're going to hear about it. 

In 2014, Fashion Police spawned an outrage after making some disparaging comments about Chris Hemsworth's pregnant wife, Elsa Pataky. The Spanish model, who was expecting twins at the time, flaunted her baby bump in a glittery, tummy-hugging Elie Saab gown on the Oscars red carpet.

Surprisingly, Joan Rivers' comments about the actress weren't the most biting from the cast. She merely made a couple of jokes about her large bump. Kelly Osbourne claimed the baby bump was "beautiful," but "beautiful in a different dress," and Giuliana Rancic also claimed to dislike the dress, regardless of Pataky's pregnant body. It was the typically forgiving George Kotsiopoulos who took things a bit too far.

"The last thing I wanna do is rip on a pregnant woman," he said. "But it's a horrible dress on her. It doesn't look like a baby bump, it looks like a beer belly."

After fielding a barrage of angry tweets, Kotsiopoulos stood by his comments. He claimed her dress choice was "utterly inexcusable" and that "she's going to have her babies … and the next week it's going to be a flat stomach, and [she'll] have her model's body back and be gorgeous."

He wasn't wrong. Two weeks after giving birth, Pataky was spotted in Malibu looking as skinny as ever, but that's not the point.

Joan Rivers actually made fun of a newborn baby

Most of us got used to watching Joan Rivers dish the dirt and rip apart the celeb du jour. It seems like almost nobody was off limits to the comedian's biting quips — and that very well may have been true. At least she didn't discriminate, right?

In a 2014, the Fashion Police may have taken it a little too far Rivers quite literally took a jab at a newborn baby. Hollywood's beauty standards have always been cruel and unyielding for women, but most of us get to live at least a few years before the media fills us with crippling self-doubt. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's 6-month-old daughter, North, didn't get that luxury. "That baby is ugly," Rivers said. "I've never seen a 6-month-old so desperately in need of a waxing," she quipped.

Strangely enough, at the time Rivers made this joke, the media was already swirling with rumors that Kardashian waxed her daughter's perfect eyebrows. Of course, the reality mogul denied those claims and jokingly said she'd wait until North was at least two-and-a-half years old. Sometimes, you're born with it!

Rihanna becomes a punchline for domestic abuse and fried chicken

There are some things better left unsaid — like making light of domestic abuse or mentioning tired, racist stereotypes. Joan Rivers managed to touch upon both in one fell swoop during a 2012 episode of Fashion Police.

By the time Rivers was commenting on Rihanna's 2012 Grammy Awards dress, the singer had already been through the ringer with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown. To refresh your memory: After attending a pre-Grammy party in 2009, RiRi and Brown reportedly had a dispute over text messages that Brown sent to another woman. TMZ later released disturbing photos of a battered Rihanna; Brown was charged with felony assault and felony criminal threats.

Though three years had passed since Rihanna's horrific police report was released to the public, it still felt way too soon for Rivers to exclaim that the singer "could make a full body cast look sexy. And, if she keeps dating Chris Brown, she might." 

To make matters worse, Rivers framed her underhanded compliment with a racist joke, claiming the neckline on Rihanna's dress was "plunging faster than Aretha Franklin's head into a bucket of fried chicken."

Sign here if you hate the 'Starlet or Streetwalker' segment

"Starlet or Streetwalker" was been a mainstay for Fashion Police. In the segment, hosts view an image of a woman with her face covered and guess if she's a celebrity or a prostitute. To do so, they wave paddles that either say "streetwalker" or "starlet." Basically, the hosts spent a whole lot of time laughing at scantily clad women, but one non-profit founder had enough.

In 2011, Rachel Lloyd created an online petition against the Fashion Police segment hoping to convince Joan Rivers to nix the bit. Lloyd is the founder and executive director of Girls Education and Mentoring Services, an organization that fights to end commercial sexual exploitation. She claimed that the "incredibly offensive and damaging" bit made a mockery out of the very real struggles sex workers face every day.

"Mocking Celebrity X for wearing an ill-advised $15,000 couture gown to the Oscars is quite different than mocking a woman who is literally living on the streets," Lloyd told The Huffington Post. "I doubt if E! would have fashion segments called 'Homeless or Hollywood?', 'Drug Addict or Debutante?', 'Poor or Posh?' Yet because these women are not 'just' potentially homeless, drug addicted, and definitely poor, but are 'streetwalkers,' prostitutes, whores, hookers, they're considered fair game."

More than 4,000 people signed Lloyd's petition, but Fashion Police – which also featured a segment known as the "Rack Report" — stuck to its guns. 

Joan Rivers' feuds with J-Law over child abuse joke

Is it ever a good idea to spout off jokes about child molestation? Regardless, there was no stopping Joan Rivers from using an off-color joke about pedophillic Catholic priests as the nail in the coffin for her feud with actress Jennifer Lawrence.

Lawrence was the first one to throw a punch, but she wasn't playing dirty when she slammed the E! Network show for teaching people the wrong values and failing to champion body positivity. The actress, who was still basking in the glow from her 2013 Silver Linings Playbook Oscar win, told Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer that Fashion Police was teaching younger generations "that it's OK to point at people and call them ugly or fat."

This was hardly a surprise considering Lawrence has always been outspoken about Hollywood's impossible beauty standards, but Rivers was none too pleased, telling Page Six, "I love that she's telling everyone how wrong it is to worry about retouching and body image, and meanwhile, she has been touched up more than a choir boy at the Vatican." Rivers added, "Look at her posters. She doesn't have a nose, she has two holes. She just has to learn, don't talk if you're doing it."

NeNe Leakes threw her "unfriendly, unfair" co-hosts under the bus

NeNe Leakes, of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, had only been working on Fashion Police for two months when the internet started to swirl with rumors of an ongoing feud with her castmates. 

According to Radar Online, the reality-star-turned-TV-host was upset about being cut from an episode of the show and replaced with Keeping up with the Kardashians matriarch Kris Jenner. The gossip rag described a rocky relationship with Melissa Rivers and claimed the RHOA star was "butting heads with everyone."

Leakes certainly didn't help her case when she tweeted some grievances against a certain, unnamed working environment (that may or may not have been Fashion Police.) "It really sucks workin on an unfriendly, unfair set! Can u imagine? Especially when u haven't done anything 2 any1. Just why?" NeNe tweeted.

Fans immediately pointed fingers at her Fashion Police co-stars, but Leakes has since publicly denied any bad blood — sort of. A week after her controversial tweets, the co-host claimed she was nothing but "professional and kind" to her castmates, but in an interview with Love B Scott, she clarified that she never said that sentiment was "reciprocated." Yikes.

Giuliana Rancic fielded death threats over dreadlocks dis

In 2015, Giuliana Rancic made a Fashion Police comment so flippantly racist that it would ultimately lead to the show's demise.

It all started during the show's post-Oscars recap when the hosts were discussing Zendaya's red carpet appearance. Rancic remarked that her dreadlocks probably smelled like "patchouli oil and weed." 

It didn't take long for the Disney starlet to push back. "To say that an 18-year-old young woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil or 'weed' is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive," she wrote in an Instagram post. "There is already a harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people…"

Zendaya was met with an outpouring of support from celebrities such as Khloe Kardashian and Kerry Washington. Rancic apologized to the young star on Twitter, claiming her comments were not racially motivated. She also made an on-air apology the next morning, but the damage had been done.

Following the scandal, both Kelly Osbourne and Kathy Griffin quit the show, and the program was put on hiatus. Rancic, who didn't even write the joke, fielded death threats following her comments. She later claimed that the joke lacked context because of some unfortunate editing, explaining that the full quip referenced hippie and bohemian culture. "On set, I made peace signs and I said boho twice. It was edited. And my words were taken out of context." she told People. "I felt horrible."

Kathy Griffin quit – and it wasn't pretty

After the tragic passing of Fashion Police co-host Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin announced she was taking on the late comedian's role. She even got the blessing of Rivers' daughter, Melissa Rivers, and claimed she wouldn't have done the show without it. Well, that relationship certainly soured fast.

Griffin, who's built a brand crafting snarky remarks about celebrity culture, ended up quitting Fashion Police after just seven episodes. The program was fresh off the latest controversy surrounding Giuliana Rancic's racially insensitive remarks about Zendaya's red carpet hair. Griffin claimed the show didn't align with her feminist ideals, and she could no longer continue.

"I do not want to use my comedy to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance toward difference," Griffin wrote in a statement.  "I want to help women, gay kids, people of color and anyone who feels underrepresented to have a voice and a LAUGH."

Despite the fact that Melissa originally wanted Griffin to fill her mother's shoes on the show, she was deeply offended with the comedian's parting words, claiming Griffin tainted her mother's legacy. "My biggest complaint was the feeling that she kind of s**t all over my mother's legacy in her statement on leaving," Melissa told Today. " …It was like, I understand what you were doing, you're trying to save yourself, but don't crap all over my mother to do it.'"

A NeNe Leakes' rape joke puts the nail in the coffin

NeNe Leakes rose to fame while starring in the Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and while she was always known for her fiery temper and tell-it-like-it-is attitude, the mother of two ran into some hot water after becoming a host on Fashion Police.

Leakes joined the show in early 2016, but in October of the following year, a controversial video of the star surfaced online. In the disparaging clip, Leakes claps back during her "Girls Nite Out for Laughs" event by telling a heckler she hopes she gets raped by her Uber driver on the ride home. According to Page Six, Leakes said, "I hope he rape your a** tonight when he take you home, b***h. And steal your funky Hello Kitty, b***h."

Her comments rightfully sparked outrage, and the reality star later issued an apology on Facebook, but it was too little too late. Just a few days later, Leakes was dropped from The Great Xscape Tour, and Fashion Police mysteriously announced that the series was ending. No one can say for sure that Leakes' comments were the reason the show called it quits, but it's a small piece of a large collection of controversial moments throughout the show's history.