Do we have to compare Keke Palmer to Zendaya? Nope
Palmer had the perfect response to a viral tweet about colorism in Hollywood.
Keke Palmer is starring in the biggest movie of the weekend, but she spent a few minutes this weekend reflecting on her career and reminding folks of her success.
A viral tweet compared Palmer’s career to Zendaya’s, making the argument that colorism has contributed to Zendaya getting more major roles in Hollywood. "This may be one of the clearest examples of how colorism plays out in Hollywood," the Twitter user stated. "They were both child-stars, but their mainstream popularity is very different."
But Keke Palmer doesn't want anyone to feel sorry for her. She's proud of her career as it is.
"A great example of colorism is to believe I can be compared to anyone," Palmer wrote on Twitter. "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.
"I’ve been a leading lady since I was 11 years old," she continued. "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."
At first glance, it may seem understandable to compare their careers. Both got their start as child actresses, and both have even gotten into music and released studio albums. But otherwise, they’ve taken different paths. Zendaya has become one of Hollywood's most recognizable talents, with a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance as Rue on Euphoria and major roles in films like Dune, Malcolm & Marie, and in Spider-Man films opposite Tom Holland. Palmer hasn't landed as many roles in major studio movies, but she's still accomplished in her own right, as she pointed out. She's also steadily appearing in various shows and films herself, and earned a Primetime Emmy of her own last year for her performance in Turnt Up With The Taylors, a web series in which she plays all of the characters. She's also been a ubiquitous face in lots of memes that have popped up on social media over the years. Some of Palmer's fans may want her to become more of a household name like Zendaya, and colorism in Hollywood is certainly a real issue. But Palmer's gauge for success doesn't have to be Zendaya.
Besides, Palmer is having her moment in 2022. She starred as an enslaved woman in the film Alice, and she contributed her voice to the Buzz Lightyear origin story film, Lightyear. She also narrated the documentary Not So Pretty, an HBO Max film that investigates the beauty industry. And her performance in Nope may earn her kudos from the Academy. She plays a queer woman who teams up with her brother OJ (played by Daniel Kaluuya) to take a photo of an alien, establishing their heritage as the lineage of Black Hollywood pioneers whose legacy had been erased. Palmer brings charisma, charm, and depth to the character, one of her most mature roles yet.
If it may have seemed that Palmer wasn't getting the recognition she deserved before, she certainly is now. Let’s make this weekend about her, not who we with to compare her to.