Why Keke Palmer Felt “Misunderstood” As a Child Star

Hustlers star Keke Palmer spoke about the drawbacks of being a child star on the Ladies First with Laura Brown podcast.

By Kaitlin Reilly Apr 07, 2021 7:00 PMTags
Watch: Keke Palmer to Voice New "Proud Family" Character on Disney+

Keke Palmer knows being a child star isn't all it's cracked up to be. 

On Laura Brown's Ladies First podcast, the 27-year-old Hustlers actress—who previously starred on the Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP from 2008 to 2011—admitted she struggled early on in her career. 

"At a young age, as a child [in the] entertainer world, your emotions are always the last thing that people care about," she told Brown, the editor-in-chief of In Style. "I think you get really quickly into being a people-pleaser and trying to be everything that everybody wants you to be. And so I think in a lot of that, you end up being misunderstood."

These days, however, Palmer isn't so worried about what people think of her. Last year, a video of her imploring a member of the National Guard to march alongside protestors during one of the summer's Black Lives Matter demonstrations went viral. 

The actress told Jimmy Kimmel at the time, "I feel like there's such a division being created in society right now from every angle, whether you're in the military, whether you're Black, white, whatever, that I just felt like we all need to come together and I think I just was really overwhelmed and I didn't know really what I was saying. I was just really speaking from my heart and how I was feeling."

Keke Palmer's Best Looks

Palmer, who will next star in an upcoming movie from Jordan Peele, will return to children's television again soon. She will voice a new character named Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins in the Disney+ reboot of the beloved animated sitcom The Proud Family

Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Refinery29's 29Rooms

"There's a new girl coming to town!" Palmer wrote in an Instagram post last August. "Prepare to fall in love with 14-year-old activist Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins, voiced by ME!!!"


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