The Shady Side Of KeKe Palmer

"Oh baby, this is Keke Palmer!" Since breaking into the spotlight in the 2000s, Keke Palmer has proved herself beyond measure. A true powerhouse, Palmer's talents cut across acting, singing, and even television hosting. Between 2019 and 2020, the former Nickelodeon star co-hosted the ABC daytime show "Strahan, Sara and Keke" — a role which earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host. 

Alongside hard work, Palmer can trace her success to one thing — manifestation. "For me, I've been working in the industry for a really long time. One thing I've learned is: you have to say and speak what you want into existence, along with doing the work," she said of her success to E! News Daily Pop (via Morning Honey).

But while Palmer has garnered much success, the actor/singer has racked up her fair share of controversies over the years. In 2023, Palmer filed a restraining order against her boyfriend Darius Jackson, whom she accused of physical and emotional abuse. "Darius grabbed my prescription eyeglasses away from me, threw them on the ground, and stomped on them. He then opened my bag, threw all of my belongings onto the pavement in the rain, and threw my car keys across the parking lot before he got into his own car and drove off," Palmer detailed of the abuse, per Entertainment Weekly. 

But not all of her controversies have had her as the victim. There's no denying that on a few occasions, Palmer has been downright shady.

Keke Palmer profited off her mom-shaming scandal

In July 2023, Keke Palmer made headlines after getting called out by her then-boyfriend, Darius Jackson, over her choice of outfit to Usher's Las Vegas Residency. In a since-deleted post on X (formerly known as Twitter), Jackson criticized Palmer's sheer dress at the event, writing, "It's the outfit tho.. you a mom"(via People). The fitness instructor then followed it up with a tweet explaining that he was only trying to protect his family's dignity. "This is my family & my representation. I have standards & morals to what I believe," the now-deleted tweet read in part. 

Unsurprisingly, Jackson's public call-out garnered mixed reactions from social media fans. "Shaming your girl on Twitter for the public to see when you have her number is crazy," one user wrote.

Despite the negative attention, however, Palmer decided to make the most of the situation — and cashed out while at it. "'IM A MOTHA' and 'Stevie to the bulls***' shirts available NOW!" she captioned an Instagram video featuring her son Leodis. 

Keke Palmer's comments about the Zendaya comparison

In July 2022, social media users stirred up a Keke Palmer vs. Zendaya conversation on social media, leading the "Akeelah and the Bee" star to prove her mastery of subtle online shade. "I'd like someone to do a deep-drive [sic] 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," one user tweeted (via Variety). Going further, the user pointed out that despite Palmer's numerous achievements in Hollywood, many consider 2022's "Nope" as her breakout role.

In response, Palmer listed out some of her accomplishments through the years while noting that she cannot be compared to any other Hollywood star. "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," Palmer tweeted

She publicly rejected Mike Johnson's date proposal

During an October 2019 episode of "Strahan, Sara and Keke," Mike Johnson of "The Bachelorette" tried to shoot his shot with Keke Palmer. While speaking on his whirlwind romance with Demi Lovato, Johnson admitted making his relationship with the singer public was a mistake. "But, if I were to ask you if we could go on a date...?" he said, turning to Palmer (per People). Though the former Nickelodeon star avoided responding, she later addressed the proposal.

In a separate episode, Palmer revealed to co-hosts Michael Strahan and Sara Haines that she felt ambushed by Jackson and would not be taking him up on his offer. "Well, first of all, I get real spooked about entertainers or reality [stars] ... I don't know, it really scares me to date people in the industry. That's number one," she explained on the show (again via People). "Number two, he asked me in front of everybody."

And while many fans thought Palmer's response was appropriate, a few others found it shady. "Keke Palmer is way too annoying and irrelevant for Mike Johnson anyway. He deserves better," one person tweeted

Keke Palmer called out the Met Gala food

The Met Gala might be one of New York's most anticipated events, but not all that glitters is gold. In 2021, Palmer served as host for Vogue's livestream coverage of the Met Gala. Though she seemingly enjoyed her time on the carpet, the "Joyful Noise" star was not particularly impressed with the event's catering. Taking to her Instagram story, Palmer shared a photo showing a small portion of vegetables, including corn, tomatoes, mushrooms, and cucumbers. "This is why they don't show y'all the food I'm just playinnnn." she quipped (per Page Six).

Despite what seemed to be a joke, Palmer caught the heat from many social media users who accused her of defaming the Met Gala. "She have some nerve, why she didn't bring her food from home then? Declasse!" one person tweeted. "Not everyone gets to be Keke some ppl have to be low wage restaurant workers. My grandma taught if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all, guess hers didn't impart those words of wisdom. Personally I thought the menu sounded amazing. Who eats meat this time of yr?" another user tweeted