Keke Palmer calls out colourism after she was compared to Zendaya

·3-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Keke Palmer is calling out colourism after people on social media compared her to Zendaya.

ICYMI, Keke is currently starring in Nope – Jordan Peele's latest box office smash – alongside Daniel Kaluuya. The film is being hailed as Keke's "breakout role", much to the confusion of her fans and the actor herself, given that she has been a prominent face in the industry for nearly two decades.

Keke made her acting debut back in 2004 appearing in Barbershop 2: Back in Business. She later went on to star in a number of movies and TV series, including Ice Age: Continental Drift, Winx Club and Hustlers. She has also been the host of her own talk show, Just Keke, since 2014.

"It’s so interesting seeing the conversation around Keke Palmer having her breakout or superstar moment and it’s wild we live in different worlds because in my household Keke been a star for forever. 'Akeelah & The Bee' was my dad’s favourite movie [and] it went triple platinum in my home," Teen Vogue's Aiyana N. Ishmael tweeted.

Echoing this point, someone else wrote on Twitter: "I'd like someone to do a deep-drive [sic] on the similarities and differences between Keke Palmer and Zendaya's careers. This may be one of the clearest examples of how colourism plays out in Hollywood. They were both child-stars, but their mainstream popularity is very different."

The fan continued, "They are two incredibly talented Virgo Queens who each have an Emmy, but in different categories. Keke Palmer has done sooo much throughout her career, yet ppl are saying #NopeMovie is her breakout role?"

The conversation quickly gained traction on social media, with various tweets on the topic racking up thousands of likes and replies. And it seems the chatter around her career reached Keke too, as she later took to Twitter to comment on being compared to Zendaya.

"A great example of colourism is to believe I can be compared to anyone," she told her two million followers. "I’m the youngest talk show host ever. The first Black woman to star in her own show on Nickelodeon and the youngest and first Black Cinderella on broadway. I’m an incomparable talent. Baby, THIS, is Keke Palmer."

The 28-year-old went on: "I’ve been a leading lady since I was 11 years old. I have over 100+ credits, and currently starring in an original screenplay that’s the number one film at the box office #NOPE. I’ve had a blessed career thus far, I couldn’t ask for more but God continues to surprise me."

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