Finding consistent success from each facet of the modern industry, actor and rapper Awkwafina has become one of the most pertinent personalities in contemporary Hollywood. Featuring in the likes of the award-winning drama The Farewell as well as Marvel’s latest curveball Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the actor has worked up a significant following of loyal supporters.
Giving up her thousands of Twitter supporters, the actor has recently left the social media platform over criticisms of her use of AAVE (African American Vernacular English) and ‘Blaccent’ in films. Such a term refers to non-Black individuals adopting a black voice in an act of cultural misappropriation, with Awkwafina being targeted as a culprit of such a voice in films such as Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8.
Awkwafina, whose real name is Nora Lum, shared a statement on February 5th explaining her stance on the matter, writing: “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 marginalised group”.
Continuing she added, “But I must emphasise: 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”.
Explaining that she felt her voice carried such an accent, the actor added, “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”. Apologising to those who she felt as if she had “let down”, she concluded by saying, “I am retiring from the ingrown toenail that is Twitter”.
See the statement, below.