Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3115: Giuliana Rancic apologizes to Zendaya Coleman comment made regarding her dreadlocks at the Oscars - that she "smells like patchouli oil and weed" on "Fashion Police" - Is She Sincere? (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Monday night following the Oscars, Giuliana Rancic made a racially disparaging comment regarding Zendaya Coleman's hair on the "Fashion Police" (saying, "... like I feel that she smells like patchouli oil .... or weed ..." - see video below). And although Rancic initially apologized via twitter - it clearly wasn't enough. On Tuesday, she released a video apology which is included above. A partial nonverbal analysis of her apology follows.


".... I'd really like to address something that is weighing very heavy on my heart ...."

Fingers interlaced

She did not touch sternum or chest

This moment has a relatively low sincerity quotient. The primary emotion here is anxiety rather than empathy.


Head leaning forward

As she said, "....something I said last night did cross the line ...."

This forward head leaning is indicative of and projects a patronizing emotional tone.

Those who have this head configuration are "talking down" (With what other emotion is this head position common?).


Pseudo-prayer hand-chop

Outside the context of religion or prayer and in some regions in Asia, this is a very patronizing gesture.

This patronizing emotion is amplified by several episodes of extended eyelid closure.


Palms-up - a much more sincere gesture and indicating an asking rather than telling/preaching

 " .... It's not my intent that matters, it's the result ...."

(She is mistaken here, for both intent and result both matter. If in the beginning she had a purer, empathy-driven intent, she would not have insulted Zendaya and so many others. Ms. Rancic is letting herself off the hook too easily here - her wording blaming it somewhat on Zendaya's interpretation.)

Note also more prolonged eyelid closure is still prevalent (more distancing and patronizing) - so this is mixed-message moment and not purely sincere.


Vertical hand chop

This is insincere and has far too much alpha emotion for the context of an apology. 


More pseudo-praying with hand-chopping

Note also throughout this video Ms. Rancic uses exaggerated mouth movements when she is speaking. This is indicative of an alpha personality when, in their mind, they're addressing subordinates (betas). Once again, this is not indicative of empathy or sincerity. 



Elevated CFC (Central Forehead Contracted) - more easily appreciated via the dynamic context of the video.

This occurs as she says, ".... I want to say to Zendaya and anyone else out there that I have hurt ..." In this moment Ms. Rancic is sincere and it is the most sincere moment of the video.


While Ms. Rancic did apologize here, on camera, and shortly after her infraction (the next day after a tweet apology missed the mark) - and (very importantly) she DID NOT read her apology (a prepared, read apology is almost never sincere) - SHE DID REFER TO NOTES - (most probably a bullet point type document) to which she kept referring (and is seen doing here). This still is too scripted and significantly detracts from any sincerity.


Palms-up illustrator

This is one of her more sincere moments

This occurs when she says, ".... this incident has taught me to be a lot more aware of clich├ęs and stereotypes - how much damage they can do ..."

What else helps to convey sincerity in this moment?

While there are some moments of empathy here, they were deficient in both frequency and amplitude. Moreover there was too much alpha emotion projected with an excessive preachy feel for a sincere apology. Ms. Rancic should absolutely NOT have used notes here despite what her lawyers advised (even if she didn't have an advantage of recording it, thus the chance for re-dos).

Overall Ms. Rancic gets a B- grade for the sincerity of this apology.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3114: Wheel of Musical Impressions with Christina Aguilera - Pitch Perfect Cher, Britney Spears & Shakira on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3092: Brian Williams' Apology - Was He Sincere? - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2441:  Paula Deen's Apology - What Does Her Body Language Say?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3031: Eric Garner's Widow - "Hell No!" - Rejecting the Apology from the Police Officer Who Killed (Choked) Her Husband

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2863: Gary Oldman's Apology on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" - Sincere or Insincere?

Nonverbal Communication Quiz-Analysis No. 2902: How Sincere was Ray Rice's Apology?