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Keke Palmer is everywhere right now, earning praise for her starring role in Jordan Peele’s Nope—and charming everyone with an enormously charismatic press tour for the movie. In turn, all this hype is sparking a wider discussion about her celebrity status.
In particular, this weekend saw Palmer’s name trend on Twitter thanks to a viral thread drawing comparisons between her career and Zendaya’s. Both actresses are former child stars who successfully made the jump to adult roles, and both are beloved for their funny, charming offscreen personalities.
However, this tweet argues that “their mainstream popularity is very different,” an issue that some people attribute to colorism in the entertainment industry. The thread quotes a separate tweet from journalist Aiyana N. Ishmael, remarking on the idea of Nope being perceived as Palmer’s “breakout” role when her real breakout, Akeelah and the Bee, came out in 2006.
But Keke Palmer objected to this debate, tweeting that the comparison itself was “a great example of colorism.”
Listing some of her biggest career highlights (“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.”), she added, “I’m an incomparable talent.”
Zendaya (who isn’t very active on Twitter) did not comment on this conversation, but she has spoken out about Hollywood colorism in several interviews. For instance, in 2018 she described herself as “Hollywood’s acceptable version of a Black girl,” explaining, “Can I honestly say that I’ve had to face the same racism and struggles as a woman with darker skin? No, I cannot.”Source: https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/keke-palmer-zendaya-tweet/