Paula Patton Is Facing Heat Over This Zendaya Gaffe At The BET Awards

Paula Patton has been no stranger to online backlash in 2022. The "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" star caught flack after posting an instructional Instagram video in March of her making fried chicken. After Olympic track and field star Ashley Spencer shared her unimpressed reaction on TikTok, the debate over Patton's chicken-frying process went viral. Some critiqued Patton's cursory cold-water rinse of the chicken. "That chicken ain't clean," Spencer mused in her vid. Others questioned her unusual method for seasoning her dish. "Paula Patton really shook unseasoned chicken in a bag of unseasoned flour while smiling," one Twitter user wrote in disbelief. The discourse even spread to Patton's biracial background, with some wondering if her upbringing played a role in her cooking. 

Patton, who has been embroiled in another public drama over her custody battle with ex Robin Thicke, took this controversy in stride. Responding in an April Instagram video, Patton said, "It is the way we do it," and insisted that despite how "the video is edited," the chicken was thoroughly washed. The debate over Patton's recipe quickly defused, but the actor may have just waded into another scandal after her appearance at June's BET Awards. 

Paula Patton's Zendaya faux-pas

Zendaya fans don't want this moment on "Replay." Paula Patton caught the ire of countless fans of the "Spider-Man: No Way Home" actor when she mispronounced her name at the 22nd Annual BET Awards on June 26. Presenting Zendaya with the best actress award for her role in HBO Max's "Euphoria," Patton said (per the Daily Mail), "And the BET Award goes to... 'Zen-Die-Ah," before quickly correcting her mistake, exclaiming, "Day-Ah!" The actor's name is indeed pronounced Zen-Day-Ah, according to the star herself.

The damage was done in Twitter users' eyes, however. "Paula Patton... You had one job and one job only," one user snarked. "Zendaya has been famous for how long now and Paula Patton still can't pronounce her name," commented another. Unsurprisingly, there were many who eagerly brought up Patton's previous controversy. "All right now Paula Patton you on strike #2 with the Black community. 1st it was the chicken now you can't pronounce Zendaya's name," wrote another fan. 

Not all were so quick to jump on the Patton shade train, however. Some Twitter users did note that Zendaya's correct pronunciation was not as universally known as others have suggested. "Not y'all coming at Paula Patton for pronouncing Zendaya thr [sic] exact same way y'all was saying that s***," wrote one such user, noting that Zendaya has been correcting people "every other week for 4 years straight."