Singer Zendaya poses at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Inglewood, California, April 3, 2016. Reuters/Danny Moloshok

Zendaya claims she was a victim of racism at a supermarket when a clerk refused to serve her because of her skin tone when she tried to purchase US$400 (AU$521) worth of gift cards.

The actress took to Snapchat on Tuesday to retell the story of her encounter with the employee.

“So we just got out of this Vons,” the 20-year-old star said in the video. “Now I am trying to buy a lot of gift cards. There are certain limits or whatever, so you can only buy so much. Now there are some certain specific things you have to do when it comes to buying gift cards. There are some certain limits and some things, which is understandable. OK, cool, so I’ll take a less amount, whatever. But the lady that was helping us, I don’t think she was a huge fan of our skin tone.”

The “Spider-Man: Homecoming” actress alleged that the clerk threw her wallet, causing her cards to fall out, after telling her she couldn’t afford the gift cards.

“I can't make this s--- up,” she told the camera, before her male friend added “because we’re black.”

“Long story short, there is so much progress to be done in our world,” she said.

In a subsequent snap, the actress clarified her comments about the clerk’s actions. “It wasn’t like a throw, it was like a toss. She, like, tossed it with my cards still loose. My card fell on the scanner and she was about to keep scanning the next person. I was like, ‘That’s my card, like what are you doing?’”

Then she concluded, “You know what, it’s all love! May she go on to have a wonderful life.”

However, the good news is Zendaya was eventually able to purchase the gift cards with the help of the manager. “Yo shout out the manager for coming and helping,” she said. “I got my gift cards!”

Vons spokesman Carlos Illingworth has issued a statement to Us Weekly on Wednesday in response to Zendaya’s claims.

“At Vons we strive to treat each and every customer with the utmost respect. There is a policy that limits gift card purchases using a credit card. Zendaya was able to purchase gift cards up to our limit, and we apologise for any inconvenience or misunderstanding,” the statement reads.

“We respect Zendaya’s voice in the community and similarly are committed to diversity and inclusion. Moreover, we understand that race is a sensitive issue in America and view this experience as a reminder that every interaction is an opportunity to treat each customer as we ourselves would like to be treated.”

This isn’t the first time the Disney star, whose father is black and mother is white, has spoken out about racial prejudice. In the October issue of Seventeen, the covergirl model opened up about the importance of standing up against discrimination.

“I’m proud of who I am, and my parents instilled that in me,” she told the magazine. “It’s important to use the special place that I’ve been given to uplift my black side. That is the side that has to do the most fighting.”