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Keke Palmer On Zendaya Comparisons: ‘A Great Example of Colorism is to Believe I Can Be Compared to Anyone’

Keke Palmer at the Lightyear premiere
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Keke Palmer has been getting rave reviews for her performance in Jordan Peele’s newest horror film, Nope. But although she’s been a booked and busy actress since she was a child, some fans on Twitter are addressing that she’s only now getting labelled as a breakout star for her role in the movie, when she’s been in successful films and TV shows since she was 11.

A tweet that went viral pointed out how different the careers of Palmer and actress Zendaya‘s have been, attributing their separate career trajectories to colourism (Zendaya is biracial). “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,” the tweet said. “They were both child-stars, [sic] but their mainstream popularity is very different.”

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The tweet seemingly implied that Zendaya is more successful than Palmer, however, Palmer pointed out that she’s seen a lot of career highs in her response.

“A great example of [colourism] is to believe I can be compared to anyone. 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,” Palmer tweeted. “I’m an incomparable talent. Baby, THIS, is Keke Palmer.”

“I’ve been a leading lady since I was 11 years old,” she continued in a second tweet. “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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Zendaya didn’t weigh in on the conversation, although she has previously opened up about the privilege she’s been afforded in her career as a light-skinned Black woman. In 2018, the Euphoria star shared, “I am Hollywood’s, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a Black girl and that needs to change. We’re vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that.”

“[It’s] about creating those opportunities. Sometimes you have to create those paths. And that’s with anything, Hollywood, art, whatever,” she added.

Palmer is next slated to appear in the film Being Mortal, which is due out next year.

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