Keke Palmer doesn't mince words over fans comparing her to Zendaya

‘I’m an incomparable talent’ she tweeted in response to a viral thread.
July 25, 2022 1:51 p.m. EST

Nope star Keke Palmer has been acting since she was a child, and has racked up an impressive resume of movies, TV shows, and also the ability to host, dance, and sing. Earlier this year she was even named in People Magazine’s “Women changing the world” list. 

But over the weekend, her name became a trending topic on Twitter when a few users were discussing how they felt that her career has been overlooked due to colourism (society’s bias against darker skin tones which contributes to racial inequality, especially in an industry like Hollywood). Fans were comparing Palmer's career to Zendaya's, noting that the latter has a lighter skin tone and alleging that she's received more mainstream fame because of it.

Melinda Eg wrote on Twitter (via Newsweek) "I'd like someone to do a deep-drive on the similarities and differences between Keke Palmer and Zendaya's careers. This may be one of the clearest examples of how colorism plays out in Hollywood. They were both child-stars, but their mainstream popularity is very different."

They added more comparisons in subsequent tweets, noting that some are calling Palmer's Nope performance her "breakout role" while Euphoria is considered Zendaya's "breakout" even though the former has been in the industry longer. 

And let's just say, Keke was not happy about the conversation.

"A great example of colorism is to believe I can be compared to anyone,” she tweeted late Sunday night on her official account.  “I'm the youngest talk show host ever. The first Black woman to star in her own show on Nickelodeon, & the youngest & first Black Cinderella on Broadway.”

“I'm an incomparable talent. Baby, THIS, is Keke Palmer."

She continued her response in the thread, writing, “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."

Before Keke had responded to Eg, several users had shared their agreement, adding similar hypotheses and denouncing the colourism that affects many women of colour.

However, a few users pointed out that pitting two Black women against each other in some kind of career competition was unfair to all women of colour trying to succeed in showbiz, and that these kinds of comparisons are rooted in sexism and misogynoir.

In the end, fans are glad Keke has addressed her name going viral with the Euphoria star’s name, and that she has stood up for herself in epic fashion.

Apart from starring in Jordan Peele’s Nope which opened this past weekend, Keke has starred in countless majorly successful productions including (but not limited to) Nickelodeon’s True Jackson, VPAkeelah and the Bee, Scream Queens, Hustlers and Pixar’s Lightyear. She also co-hosted Strahan, Sara & Keke. Variety reports that Nope has earned over $44 million its opening weekend. However, Newsweek reports that while Keke has over 100 credits to her name, her net worth is estimated at $7.5 million, whereas Zendaya has 50 credits but a net worth of $20 million.

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