E! has announced Monday that it was pulling in Laverne Cox, 48, as the host of its flagship red carpet show, Live from E!, replacing Giuliana Rancic.
Page Six reports NBCUniversal’s Jen Neal said in a statement, “Laverne Cox is a risk-taker, groundbreaking pioneer and a fashion tour de force. As we continue to evolve the way we cover Hollywood’s biggest nights, Laverne’s passion for, and extensive knowledge of, the fashion community resonates with our audience and we look forward to seeing her shine on the other side of the velvet rope.”
The Orange Is the New Black alum said in a statement of her own, “I’m so excited and deeply humbled to be hosting E!’s iconic red carpet coverage. For many years I would wake up early on awards show days, get my snacks in place and watch E!’s coverage all day long. I dreamed of walking red carpets… I can’t wait to get started while hopefully serving up fashion fantasies for the ages, honey.”
The announcement came on the heels of the news that 46-year-old Rancic was leaving the red carpet behind after 20 years of coverage on the network and had inked a new development deal with NBCUniversal. Rancic captioned an Instagram post on Friday:
“After 20 fabulous years hosting E!’s red carpet, I have decided to step out of my red carpet heels into a new pair of shoes.
One of my passions is great storytelling and I am thrilled to announce a new development deal with E!’s parent company NBCUniversal where I will be producing and bringing stories to life.
To my E! family, thank you for allowing me to make my red carpet dreams come true for the past two decades. It has truly been a highlight of my career and life.
To my production team throughout the years, you are all simply the best. We have made some beautiful memories together that I will always carry with me.
And to all the viewers, all around the world, thank you for watching and supporting me as we went along together on this red carpet ride. I love and appreciate you all and I sure hope you will join me as I enter this exciting new chapter ❤️
Rancic’s red carpet career wasn’t always smooth. The former Fashion Police co-host came under fire after the 2015 Academy Awards for saying Zendaya’s dreadlocks made her look “like she smells like patchouli oil” or “weed.” The Euphoria actress, who was 18-years-old at the time, slammed Rancic’s comments as “disrespectful” and “outrageously offensive.” Rancic tweeted a response, “I’m sorry I offended you and others. I was referring to a bohemian chic look. Had nothing to do with race and NEVER would!!!”
Dear @Zendaya, I'm sorry I offended you and others. I was referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!— Giuliana Rancic (@GiulianaRancic) February 24, 2015