Keke Palmer: ‘I’ve had a blessed career thus far, I couldn’t ask for more’

Despite her film, Nope, opening first in the weekend’s box office at $44 million, Keke Palmer was put in a position where she felt she had to defend herself and her career. One reporter tweeted to express surprise at the discussion around Keke’s “breakout moment” with Nope because Keke has been a star in her household forever. Someone else responded to that tweet and brought up Zendaya, chalking up the differences in their careers and perceived mainstream popularity to colorism. And Keke took issue with that, tweeting back that it’s colorist to randomly compare the two and listing her very impressive career accolades.

Keke Palmer doesn’t appear to appreciate the recent social media conversation comparing her career to that of Zendaya.

A Saturday tweet drew attention for claiming that a perceived difference in mainstream popularity between Palmer, who currently stars in Jordan Peele’s Nope, and Zendaya is “one of the clearest examples of how colorism plays out in Hollywood.” The Twitter thread pointed out that Palmer and Zendaya are both former child stars but that Nope is being described in some circles as Palmer’s breakout role.

On Sunday, Palmer tweeted, “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.”

The 28-year-old star continued, “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.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

So reading those two tweets that seemed to cause all this, my thought is the first one is pretty innocuous, but the second one is a bit rude and I can see why Keke took offense. That second person pulled Zendaya out randomly, wrote a whole tweet thread, and juxtaposed images of the two to make their point. And then someone else even replied comparing the net worth of the two women! I totally understand why Keke was offended at these comparisons that people are literally only making because they’re both Black actresses in the same age range. Keke’s achievements can stand on their own. Personally, I also think Keke has been a star for years and I’ve always been more aware of her career. The Marvel connection is probably what makes Zendaya seem “more mainstream.” The people tweeting say they’re fans and didn’t intend to cause any harm, but making hurtful and unnecessary comparisons and nitpicking at someone you claim to be a fan of during what should be a big, proud moment for them is very harmful. If they’re fans and they think this is Keke’s “mainstream breakout,” then why engulf it in this negative conversation instead of just letting her enjoy her moment? At least for opening weekend, jeez. Keke didn’t deserve to have to deal with this. But I did chuckle a bit that she called herself “an incomparable talent.” Actors, right.

Photos credit:, Cover Images and via Instagram

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12 Responses to “Keke Palmer: ‘I’ve had a blessed career thus far, I couldn’t ask for more’”

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  1. Imara219 says:

    I mean Zen has discussed colorism and how it has opened doors for her and there are often larger discussions about how Zen is THE young Black woman actor of the moment. KeKe is underrated undeservingly. I LOVE KeKe’s response. I’m sure colorism plays a part in some way but of course, she has been a steady worker in the business for 20 years. She’s a wonderful talent and I loved her in Nope and I love her outspokenness. No one was talking about Trey Songz’s transgressions until she said so, her openness about PCOS and Black women, etc.

  2. Dee says:

    I know Keke was trying to model positive confidence, but I think she missed the point. Nobody was saying she wasn’t talented or successful, we’re just objectively addressing how they started out both child stars backed by major networks, transitioned to music and movies, and now are primarily film/TV stars. Because of that, we have a unique opportunity to look at how quickly or easily either woman has risen in her career (given they’re both not lacking for beauty or talent) and how much Hollywood has rewarded each for her work.

    On that basis, it is clear that Zendaya has experienced MUCH more success and rewards for very similar work, and many DSBW are all too familiar with that dynamic. Saying “I’m booked and blessed” doesn’t address the larger issue, and takes a serious broad conversation and makes it about “she’s not better than me”, when nobody said that in the first place.

    • Imara219 says:

      I don’t think she missed the point but I do think her response is business minded. It’s obvious that colorism and Zen being perceived as the “right” type of Black woman has helped her career but I can also understand why Keke didn’t want a crowning moment to be marred by that discussion. That’s not on her mind right now and her name was trending not because of the movie but because of this comparison. I also think she wants to shut it down now so it doesn’t follow her career. Angela Bassett had similar trajectory compared to Halle Berry and I believe Keke is just navigating these waters differently.

  3. Becks1 says:

    i think the first tweet was kind of saying what Keke said – that this wasn’t her breakout moment because she’s been popular for years.

    I love what Keke said though, I was just having a conversation with someone about this over the weekend, where we as women so often don’t just say “these are my accomplishments, I’ve worked hard and i’m successful and i’m proud of it.” I love that keke said it with her whole chest.

    Zendaya is clearly in a hot moment right now but Keke is too, considering she’s starring in Jordan Peele’s new movie (and I loved her line about the original screenplay, I think that’s important, Keke is in the #1 movie that’s not part of a franchise, people just came out to see it because of Peele and Kaluuya and Keke.)

  4. Jessica says:

    I think they are in different lanes. I love Keke, she hosts a baking show and a craft show that my kid loves. She is all in. She dresses in costume and really engages with the children.

    I have never seen Euphoria but my favorite things with Z are the greatest showman and KC Undercover.

    There is enough room out there for these two talented ladies (and others). Let’s stop comparing women and celebrate all of their accomplishments. (Geared towed the Twitter trolls on the first thread, not commenters here).

    • Concern Fae says:

      Strong Agee on this. Zendaya made her jump to adult stardom through showing up constantly and consistently on the red carpet in Law Roach’s spectacularly curated looks. Colorism? Some. But also her having a very tall, rail thin body that could wear the runway sample sizes without alterations. That can’t be overlooked. Could she have pulled this off if she was darker? Don’t know. But having a model’s body was key to her becoming the fashion industry’s darling. Zendaya has talked about how she basically snuck onto the Oscars red carpet. She snagged a ticket to be in the audience, showed up dressed for the red carpet and they let her on. She showed up in the pictures with the nominees and presenters, got onto some best dressed lists. Did anybody seeing the pics realize she had nothing to do with the ceremony? Did casting directors?

      I admire that hustle enormously. It got her into the publicity mix of stars with way more credits and success than she had. The roles followed and she’s done well in them and her acting is improving. Keke has been doing the work and counting on that to pull her through.

      Two different talents, two different paths. Rooting for both their successes.

      • SpankyB says:

        Zendaya was also on Dancing with the Stars years ago. That’s how I know her (I stopped watching after that season, stop laughing at me). That’s a big way to get yourself known to American adults. I think was more popular back then compared to now.

    • kimmy says:

      Just here to say…One thing I absolutely love about Keke is that she voiced a character on Bubble Guppies. My daughter was a huge fan to begin with and we watched this specific episode about 10000 times. The main lesson in that episode was just to be comfortable with who you are….which is SO FITTING with her personality. I love her!

  5. L4Frimaire says:

    I saw that colorisim tweet and thought it was to stir up sh*t, and denigrate Palmer. It really wanted to steal her joy and minimize her having a hit film and having her moment. Yes she most definitely should be paid more and hope she will start getting it. However there was no need to try to involve Zendaya or act like there is a rivalry. Race, colorism, and pay equity is an ongoing issue but useful no Palmer this way rightfully upset her and she shouldn’t have to be in a position where she has to present her qualifications or resume. Never allowed to just be and enjoy one’s accomplishments.

  6. arhus says:

    I LOVE Keke!

  7. The Recluse says:

    I missed all the fuss on this situation, as usual. Sometimes it’s okay to be out of the loop.

    Just wanted to say that I saw #Nope yesterday. It was good and so was she.

    BUT it may not be the best movie to see during monsoon season….in New Mexico! I’ve been eyeing the clouds ever since I came out of that film yesterday.

  8. alsf says:

    Honk for keke