Keke Palmer is getting the side-by-side treatment with Zendaya on Twitter after her starring role in Jordan Peele‘s new movie — sparking a conversation about colorism in Hollywood.
Here’s the deal … Keke made a splash this weekend in “Nope” opposite Daniel Kaluuya, with some arguing this is her breakout moment in the mainstream. Yes, she’s worked in TONS of movies/shows for years — but prior to this, she wasn’t really a known household name, generally … JP’s flick has, in fact, put on her on the map like she’s never been before.
That’s where Zendaya enters the chat (metaphorically) … someone on the bird app said Keke deserves the same hype and adulation Zendaya typically enjoys these days. And from there … folks started talking about why one might perhaps have ascended earlier than the other.
Before we write this off as pitting two women of color against each other, let’s just entertain the subject matter and substance of the argument … because, frankly, it’s an interesting one.
Someone floated the theory that colorism was why Zendaya has experienced more mainstream success than Keke has at this point in their careers — even though they’re around the same age, both have a Disney background … and despite one having way more acting credits than the other (Keke>Zen), Zendaya’s the name/face we know more in 2022.
Of course, there’s backlash to the fact this is being discussed at all … with Zendaya fans coming to her defense in what they say feels like a personal attack against their idol, but others say they’re missing the point entirely — and that this isn’t about Zendaya, per se.
You can hop into the “Keke” or “Zendaya” trends and see for yourself how this discussion is taking shape — but long story short, there seems to be a good majority who feel like Zendaya, through no fault of her own, has greatly benefited from her mixed-race heritage.
We should note … Zendaya herself has acknowledged this on multiple occasions, saying she wants to help her community, the Black community, get on the same level in showbiz.
There’s no easy answers here — and we’re sure this debate will continue. As for Keke, we’ll say this … she has indeed been killing it since forever, but “Nope” truly is something else. Star-making roles come about every so often, and this is certainly one of them. 🛸
We’re sure we’ll see a lot more of Keke very soon.