Actress Keke Palmer has said that she does not want to be compared to fellow actress Zendaya. A furious controversy about ‘colorism’ erupted on social media when the Nope star’s Hollywood career was compared to Zendaya’s. Palmer highlighted her “incomparable skill” in a series of tweets detailing her background in the entertainment world.
On July 24, a tweet from @NBAgladiator went viral on social media. Despite the fact that both were child stars, the user saw a distinct contrast in how their careers have unfolded. “This may be one of the clearest illustrations of how colorism plays out in Hollywood,” the tweet said.
The debate took place after Keke Palmer’s huge success in Jordan Peel’s newest horror film Nope. According to several internet users, this was the actress’ “breakout moment.” Fans, on the other hand, claim that the 28-year-old has been a household name for years.
Palmer took to social media to reply to the rising conversation regarding colorism and the comparison of the two black actresses. She said that she did not want to be the subject of that talk.
Palmer said in a tweet:
“Believing that I can be compared to anybody is a wonderful example of colorism.” I am the youngest talk show host in history. The first Black woman to star in her own Nickelodeon program, as well as the youngest and first Black Cinderella on Broadway. I have an unrivaled skill. “This is Keke Palmer, baby.”
The Alice actress went on to say that she has been a “leading woman” since she was 11 years old and has had a “fortunate career so far.”
A great example of colorism is to believe I can be compared to anyone. 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.
— Keke Palmer (@KekePalmer) July 24, 2022
What is colorism, and why are Keke Palmer and Zendaya instances of it?
Colorism is defined as the preferential preference of lighter skin over darker complexion. This kind of colorism is more prevalent in minority groups. The notion is based on racism, which holds that a person’s superiority or value is determined by how they appear, especially the color of their skin. Colorism may be traced back to the days of plantation slavery in America. Those with lighter skin tones received preferential treatment over those with darker skin tones.
Many enslaved Africans with lighter complexion were the progeny of their white slave owners. Because of their lighter skin, they came to believe that they were superior to their darker counterparts. In recent years, Hollywood has been accused of colorism and whitewashing people of color. Lin-Manuel Miranda, an actor, and director was accused of the same thing, for which he later apologized.
In an episode when their kid brings home his school photographs, the ABC comedy black-ish also addressed the issue of colorism. While the son is visible, his twin, portrayed by Marsai Martin, is scarcely visible since the photographer did not apply suitable lighting for her complexion.
The show’s producer, Peter Saji, who is of mixed race, recognized the problem and said that he had never realized how fortunate he is to be light-skinned.
He has previously stated:
“For dark-skinned Black women, this means not just being passed over for lighter-skinned women in the dating and work markets, but also seldom seeing a dark-skinned woman as the main character’s love interest.”
Netizens are pointing out that Keke Palmer is being referred to as a “coming star” rather than a “star in her own right” in the case of Zendaya. They claim this is due to her skin tone being lighter than Zendaya’s. It is also worth mentioning that Zendaya has previously stated her desire to see her community have the same chances that she had in the entertainment world.