Keke Palmer Claps Back at Race-Fueled Zendaya Comparisons as ‘A Great Example of Colorism’

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Keke Palmer reminded her followers of her “incomparable” career on Sunday after social media conversation comparing her to Zendaya spiked over the weekend.

On Saturday, a series of tweets between multiple users gained attention for pointing out that some people online had been comparing Palmer’s success to that of Zendaya’s, saying that it “may be one of the clearest examples of how colorism plays out in Hollywood.”

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The tweets explained that, while both actors were child stars and have been landing starring roles for a majority of their lives, some have pegged Palmer’s role in Jordan Peele’s “Nope” as a breakout moment for the star. The user wrote that Palmer’s delayed mainstream attention could be credited to her darker complexion in comparison to Zendaya’s lighter skin. On Sunday, the actress entered the discourse herself.

“A great example of colorism is to believe I can be compared to anyone. I’m the youngest talk show host ever,” she wrote on Twitter. “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.”

In a follow-up, she continued: “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.”

What some may dub as Palmer’s actual breakout role is 2006’s “Akeelah and the Bee,” where she stars alongside Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne as a young girl from South Los Angeles who is trying to make it to the National Spelling Bee.

From there, she went on to the titular role in Nickelodeon’s “True Jackson VP,” which ran for three seasons. More recently, her credits include “Scream Queens” and “Hustlers,” as well as voice roles in “Lightyear” and “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.”

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