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Awkwafina Quits Twitter After Finally Addressing Criticism Over Her ‘Blaccent’

Awkwafina Quits Twitter After Finally Addressing Criticism Over Her ‘Blaccent’

Awkwafina finally spoke out about the controversy over her use of a “blaccent.”

For years, the Crazy Rich Asians actress – whose real name is Nora Lum – has been accused of appropriating Black culture due to her consistent use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in both her stand-up comedy and film roles. She has (somewhat) addressed the criticism in the past, telling Reuters back in September:

“I’m open to the conversation. It really is something that I think is a little bit multi-faceted and layered.”

But now, Awkwafina has issued a more direct response to the criticism than she has ever given before…

In a letter shared to Twitter on Saturday, the 33-year-old comedian began by acknowledging the “sociopolitical context” surrounding the allegations. She wrote how “a group that is disproportionately affected by institutionalized policies and law enforcement policies” has had their “culture stolen, exploited and appropriated by the *dominant* culture for monetary gain without acknowledgment nor respect for where those roots come from.” Awkwafina then recognized how the problem still exists today in music and on different social media platforms like TikTok, adding:

“And in life, linguistic acculturation, immigrant acculturation, and the inevitable passage of globalized internet slang all play a factor in the fine line between offense and pop culture.”

Related: Joe Rogan Apologizes For Repeatedly Using The N-Word After Videos Resurface

The Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings star continued:

“But as a non-Black POC, I stand by the fact 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 ANY and EVERY marginalized group. But I must emphasize: To mock, belittle, or to be unkind in any way possible at the expense of others is: Simply. Not. My. Nature. It never has, and it never was.”

However, Awkwafina believes her speech has been influenced by her surroundings and “immigrant background,” explaining:

“My immigrant background allowed me to carve an American identity off the movies and TV shows I watched, the children I went to public school with, and my undying love and respect for hip hop.”

She then concluded:

“I think as a group, Asian Americans are still trying to figure out what that journey means for them – what is correct and where they don’t belong. And though I’m still learning and doing that 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, hearing and empathizing… And I will continue, tirelessly, to do just that.”

But that’s not all she had to say. Hours later, the former rapper followed up with another tweet in which she announced she would be leaving the social media platform for her mental health:

“Well, I’ll see you in a few years, Twitter – per my therapist. To my fans, thank you for continuing to love and support someone who wishes they could be a better person for you. I apologize if I ever fell short, in anything I did. You’re in my heart always.”

Although she was no longer posting on the site, she clarified that she’s only “retiring from the ingrown toenail that is Twitter” and “not retiring from anything else.” The Golden Globe also noted that she’d be “avail on all other socials that don’t tell you to kill yourself!”

Subsequently, many have slammed that her lengthy statement did not include an actual apology or acknowledgment of her behavior. One person wrote:

“LOL. Okay. Note her early emphasis on “*dominant* culture” to offset her responsibility of appropriation, exploitation, and minstrelsy of Black culture. All of these words and no accountability. You see no apology because Nora is not sorry.”

Another added:

“it’s you clearly addressing the issue and still avoiding accountability for me, this is insanity”

What do YOU think about Awkwafina’s letter, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF in the comments (below).

[Image via Awkwafina/Instagram]

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Feb 05, 2022 13:44pm PDT