Kathy Griffin's exit from E!'s Fashion Police, after just seven shows, may come as a shock, but the presenter's leaving statement makes more than a few pertinent points. Namely, that the days of poking fun and (often nastily) joking about women's style decisions are over. THANK GOD.
While the show's recent awards season controversies have rightly landed its team in hot water - Giuliana Rancic, I'm looking at you - a shake-up and quick revamp isn't going to save Fashion Police. As E! deliberates over whether their programme has a future, it seems painfully clear to me that it's time to pull the plug, on both the show and its outdated brand of criticism.
Fashion Police's agenda is quite simple - the team find pictures of (usually female) celebs on recent red carpets, and deliberate their fashion choices. If your stylist fails to land you in the panel's good books, you're handed a fast-track pass to the 'Slammer'. But first, four people are going to poke fun at you, and laugh at how disgusting is that you can't dress yourself in a way that pleases them. I mean, it's just not great, is it?
Don't get me wrong, I can admit that I often found myself laughing along when Joan Rivers dealt out witty one-liners and shady remarks, but that somehow different. It was Joan Rivers. She made pushing the boundaries and cracking gasp-inducing jokes look easy. Away from the studio, the comedian often overstepped the line, but on set, Joan rarely disappointed. The show should really have been named Joan Rivers' Fashion Police and without her calling the shots, the panel's attempts at scathing yet hilarious criticism can seem awkward, unfunny, and sometimes just plain nasty.
One big problem is that somewhere along the way, everyone seems to have forgotten that red carpets and awards ceremonies are supposed to be fun. At HuffPost UK Entertainment, we love flicking through style snaps the morning after big events, and yes, occasionally some stars' sartorial choices will divide opinions, and we aren't afraid of saying so. But there is a line, and Kathy explained things perfectly in her leaving announcement.
"I do not want to use my comedy to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance towards difference," she wrote. "I want to help women, gay kids, people of colour and anyone who feels underrepresented to have a voice and a LAUGH!"
Well said, gurl.
It's about time we put the fun back into fashion. Did Charli XCX lose sleep over whether Kelly O will approved of her recent dancefloor-ready white suit? No, because she was busy partying the night away in it. Is Nicki Minaj seeking anyone's approval when she dons an eye-popping brilliant ensemble? Of course she's not. And who cares what the official verdict on Rihanna's gigantic Grammys dress was? I refuse to believe I'm the only one whose first thought was, "bloomin' heck that looks like fun to spin around in."
It was (sometimes) great while it lasted everyone, but the Fashion Police party's time is up. Red carpets shouldn't be like walking the gauntlet, it's the entertainment industry for crying out loud - what's entertaining about a woman squeezed into a dress that is "so this year, dahhling", desperately trying not to forget who designed it? Never mind the celebs whose looks don't float your boat E!, it's time to throw your show in the slammer.