On July 23, a Twitter user sent out a tweet that read, “I’d like someone to do a deep-drive on the similarities and differences between Keke Palmer and Zendaya’s careers. 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,” the user continued.
According to CNN, the tweet went viral, and eventually caught the attention of Palmer on the following day. The Nope star then addressed the comparison, and listed some of her accomplishments in the industry.
“A great example of colorism is to believe I can be compared to anyone,” the 28-year-old wrote. “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.”
In 2020, Zendaya became the youngest actress to win an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series, for her role in Euphoria. Per a report by USA Today, the Spider Man: No Way Home star hasn’t released a response, but has addressed the issue of colorism in the past.
“I am Hollywood’s acceptable version of a Black girl and that has to change,” Zendaya said during a panel discussion in 2018. “We’re vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to just be the only representation of that.”
“What I’m saying, it’s about creating those opportunities, sometimes,” she added. “You have to create those paths.”
Nope, directed by Jordan Peele and starring Palmer and July ESSENCE cover star Daniel Kaluuya, is in theaters now.