Awkwafina rose to fame in 2012 after her rap song “My Vag” went viral on YouTube. For years, she was chastised for using a “blaccent.” The rapper recently responded to the criticisms and thereafter left Twitter.
According to Page Six, Awkwafina, an Asian-American actress born Nora Lum, has responded to criticism about her use of African-American vernacular English (AAVE). The 33-year-old Golden Globe winner acknowledged the “historical context of the African American community in this country” in a letter shared on Twitter on Saturday.
“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.”
“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.”
Many people have called Awkwafina out on her perceived “blaccent.”
“It’s so fkn ANNOYING how Awkwafina was all like ‘I refuse to do a stereotypical Asian accent, it’s disrespectful to my people’ and continues to use a blaccent for comedic effect. Urgh. I can’t stand her.”
The actress and former rapper, on the other hand, believes that her speech was heavily influenced by her surroundings and that she had no intention of appropriating or exploitation.
“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.”
“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.”
She also stated that she would be leaving Twitter but would continue to use her other social media accounts.
“I am retiring from the ingrown toenail that is Twitter. Not retiring from anything else, even if I wanted to, and I didn’t drunkenly hit someone with a shoehorn and now escaping as a fugitive. Also am avail on all other socials that don’t tell you to kill yourself!”
“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.”
Awkfwafina made the decision to leave Twitter; now we’ll see if she sticks to her decision. To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.
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