Awkwafina Addresses “Blaccent” Controversy With Long Statement

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Awkwafina has made a public statement on social media regarding the controversy around her use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and the criticism that she used a “blaccent” in past roles.

Saturday February 2. On the 5th, Awkwafina (née Nora Lum) released a lengthy statement about Twitter, his first activity on the platform in more than two years. The actor wrote in part, There is a sociopolitical context to everything, especially the historical context of the African American community in this country.

Awkwafina on November 12, 2021.Matt Winkelmeyer/Wire Image,

The 33-year-old went on to write, “This is a group that is disproportionately affected by institutionalized politics and law enforcement policies – while having historically and regularly seen their culture stolen, exploited and appropriated by the *dominant* culture for money. earn without recognition or respect for the origin of those roots, the pioneers of its beginnings and the artists who have perfected and mastered the craft.

“It’s a problem we still see today – though some may pass it off as a convoluted mash-up of the ‘TikTok internet slang generation’ that liberally uses AAVE,” the ‘Farewell’ star wrote. before adding, “to add that hip hop – a genre of music that is ubiquitous and loved across the country – has now become entrenched as a dominant genre in the history of music.

Throughout her career, Awkwafina’s accent and use of the AAVE has been questioned numerous times on social media, as well as in articles, including a 2018 story for Lauren’s Vulture. Michelle Jackson. The controversy involves several of her roles, ranging from Peik Lin Goh in “Crazy Rich Asians” to Constance in “Ocean’s 8,” to “Tawk With Awkwafina” and her rapping debut.

Awkwafina acknowledged that “linguistic acculturation, immigrant acculturation, and the inevitable shift of globalized Internet slang” can draw the line “between offense and pop culture.”

“But as a non-black POC, I maintain that I will always listen and work tirelessly to understand the history and context of AAVE, what is deemed appropriate or backwards toward the progress of ALL and ALL marginalized groups,” she said. . “But I must emphasize: To mock, belittle or be mean in any way at the expense of others is: Simply. Not. My. Nature. It never was and it never was.

The comedian, who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in 2020, reflected on her “immigration background” growing up in Queens with her Chinese-American father and Korean mother, as well as the role that television and movies, her classmates and her “undying love and respect for hip hop” played into the development of her own identity as an American.

“I think as a group, Asian Americans are still trying to figure out what this journey means to them — what’s okay and where they don’t belong,” she said. “And while I’m still learning and doing this personal work, I know for sure that I want to spend the rest of my career doing nothing but uplifting our communities. We do this first by failing, learning, acknowledging, listening and empathizing… And I will continue, tirelessly, to do just that.

After years of criticism, Awkwafina struggled to address the controversy when she was confronted with a question about it during an interview with Reuters in September 2021 ahead of the release of Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

“I’m open to conversation,” she said at the time. “I think it’s really something that’s kind of multi-faceted and multi-layered.”

Just three hours after releasing her statement on Saturday morning, she also wrote a goodbye message on Twitter, advice she said she received from her therapist.

“To my fans, thank you for continuing to love and support someone who wishes they could be a better person for you,” she said. tweeted. “I apologize if I ever failed, in everything I did. You are always in my heart.

To clarify: I step back from the ingrown nail that is Twitter. she added in a later tweet. “I’m not stepping down from anything else even if I wanted to, and I haven’t hit someone drunk with a shoehorn and now escaped as a fugitive. I’m also available on all other social networks that don’t tell you to kill yourself!”

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