Keke Palmer Cast As Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas In TLC Biopic

Keke Palmer has been cast as Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas in the upcoming VH1 biopic about R&B girl group TLC.

Palmer joins “Lip Gloss” rapper Lil Mama (real name Niatia Jessica Kirkland), who will portray Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and The Game‘s Drew Sidora, who will be playing Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins. Currently, Watkins is starring in her own reality show, Totally T-Boz, on TLC. Thomas also makes appearances on the show. Totally T-Boz premiered on January 1, 2013.

The casting for the film hasn’t been without its controversy, with many protesting the casting of Lil Mama, saying she looks nothing like Lopes and cannot live up to the legacy Lopes, who died in a car accident in 2002, left behind. News of Lil Mama’s casting was broken by veteran rapper MC Lyte — real name Lana Michelle Moorer — during a red carpet event for the VIBE Impact Awards.

“I don’t know if I’m supposed to say, but I will,” Lyte said. “She just got the role as Left Eye in TLC’s new movie. I am so excited for her.”

Similarly, Palmer’s casting has drawn critics as well, with many making the same comments about her lack of a resemblance to Thomas.

The 19-year-old, who is best known for her roles in Akeelah and the Bee and the Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP, and who portrayed Carlina White in Abducted: The Carlina White Story, responded to the criticism over her casting in a number of posts on Twitter.

People kill me, I don’t remember Angela Bassett looking ANYTHING like Tina Turner. And she RIPPED that role, ✌

— Keke Palmer (@KekePalmer) February 17, 2013

People need to realize hat movies aren’t casted by people looking like who they’re playing. They’re casted by who can do the role.

— Keke Palmer (@KekePalmer) February 17, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather see a movie that is well acted, then a movie with a bunch of look a like’s.

— Keke Palmer (@KekePalmer) February 17, 2013

Cause Ben Affleck isn’t even Hispanic, but the man he played in Argo IS.

— Keke Palmer (@KekePalmer) February 17, 2013

Do you think Keke Palmer was a good choice to play Chilli?