Keke Palmer Responds to Tweets Comparing Her and Zendaya's Careers
Keke Palmer cannot be compared. At 28 years old, the actor has over a hundred acting credits to her name. Her latest is as Emerald Haywood in Jordan Peele's "Nope," which just had a massively successful opening weekend. Last year, her Facebook Watch series earned her an Emmy. She also gives a great interview, with her soundbites and facial expressions often inspiring memes. And yet Palmer is now fending off the public's urge to compare her to other stars.
A conversation was sparked on Twitter on July 23 after Teen Vogue writer Aiyana Ishmael noted how Palmer's perceived "breakout" this year ignores her decades of work in the industry. A tweet in response then called for a deep dive comparing Palmer's career to that of Zendaya. The person claimed that though both actors were child stars and have received well-deserved acclaim, Zendaya appeared to gain mainstream popularity more easily. "This may be one of the clearest examples of how colorism plays out in Hollywood," the tweet reads.
"I'm an incomparable talent."
Well, Palmer prefers not to be compared at all. "A great example of colorism is to believe I can be compared to anyone," Palmer tweeted the following day. She then listed several of her accomplishments, including being the youngest talkshow host ever with "Just Keke" on BET in 2014. Palmer also made history as the first Black woman to star as the titular character in a Nickelodeon series with "True Jackson, VP" in 2008. She was also the youngest, and first Black woman, to portray Cinderella on Broadway. "I'm an incomparable talent. Baby, THIS, is Keke Palmer."
In a follow-up tweet, the star continued to share her career highlights, including her numerous acting credits and latest starring role in "Nope," which is Peele's third consecutive film to open at No. 1 in the box office. The sci-fi film also had the most successful opening for an original screenplay since Peele's "Us" in 2019. Palmer added, "I've had a blessed career thus far, I couldn't ask for more but God continues to surprise me."
Though it's true that Palmer has always been a star within her own right, also true is the existence of colorism in the entertainment industry. Zendaya herself spoke about colorism during a 2018 appearance at Beautycon. "As a Black woman, as a light-skinned Black woman, it's important that I'm using my privilege, my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community," she said. "I am Hollywood's, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a Black girl, and that has to change."