Keke Palmer Shuts Down Zendaya Comparisons and Social Media Colorism Debate

Keke Palmer and Zendaya (Credit: Deposit Photos)

Keke Palmer responded to a fierce debate on Twitter comparing her achievements to those of Zendaya, with some insisting the biracial Euphoria star is more popular among “mainstream” audiences because of colorism in Hollywood.

The back-and-forth started Saturday when a fan posted a tweet saying Palmer, 28, has been acting since she was a child, but is only now getting crossover attention for appearing in Jordan Peele’s new thriller Nope.

The viral tweet included a picture of Keke in the latest edition of British Vogue alongside a photo of Spider-Man: No Way Home actress Zendaya, 25, in the magazine back in September 2021. The post was captioned: “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.”

Fans of both celebs chimed in for over 24 hours, before Palmer decided to squash the debate. The Akeelah and the Bee star said her achievements stand on their own, including her role in this weekend’s No. 1 movie at the box office.

Related StoryJordan Peele’s ‘Nope’ Wrangles $44 Million Opening and Tops Box Office

“A great example of colorism is to believe I can be compared to anyone,” Palmer tweeted Sunday evening. “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 added: “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.”

The two posts drew more than 500,000 likes by Sunday night and generated thousands of comments, with many praising Palmer for shutting the conversation down.

“Tell. Them. Keke!” one person responded.

“I know that’s right,” another Twitter user replied.

“Preach!” added actor David Alan Grier.

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