Keke Palmer is fine with being excluded from group chats
As an actor, do you think games like The Sims born to talk to you—maybe enter someone else’s life?
I never thought about it, but it makes complete sense. I am an artist. I act. I perform. It doesn’t seem to be disconnected too far.
The Sims is all about world building. Is KeyTV part of your world-building process?
One hundred percent. I view myself very objectively. It’s not like I see myself as one sim personality, but in many ways, I find myself planning everything. I am very disciplined. Once I decide on something, I follow through and figure out how to support it. As for KeyTV, that’s something I got serious about over a year ago. I feel really happy when it’s time to debut. I look forward to continuing to build it. The community of fans that follow me—the Keke Palmer brand—I want to present them with something that extends beyond me personally.
It’s a battle for everyone’s attention these days. The market is too crowded. How does KeyTV remove noise?
So last year was when I was filming Are not, I think. I filmed Are not last year? Time passed quickly.
Our relationship with time is strange now.
Times are strange to me now because of Covid. That was after the peak of Covid; we’re still in a pandemic mood, in terms of wearing masks, but people are outside. It’s summer and I’m filming Are not. Personally and professionally, I was in a new place. I also started to think, OK, what can I do but myself? How can I bring something that doesn’t depend only on me?
Was it an attempt to do something you weren’t at the center of?
That’s the thing. As an entertainer, you often have to work hard — that’s not bad — but everything really depends on you in the end. When you think about generational wealth creation or community wealth, you’re trying to take whatever you’ve started or whatever you’ve got and expand it outward. I think KeyTV can be its own voice in the sense of what I stand for, which is education, democratization and entertainment.
I want to do [entertainment] feel more accessible to those in our community, especially Blacks and browns, who may not have the immediate resources and accessibility to the industry. I want to close that gap.
KeyTV talks about fairness behind the camera as well as in front of the camera. Working in Hollywood for so long, don’t you see the kind of inclusion there on the set?
It will depend. Whenever I work on a Tyler Perry set, yes. When I did The house of pain or Madea family reunion, there’s always a lot of Blacks. And that was before it became a trendy thing to do. Now it has become a thing. Back when I was 11, 12, nobody was interested in hiring anyone Black. Whenever I’m in the production of Tyler Perry, everyone is Black. That’s the best thing about it. It’s like being at a family reunion.