Culture

Awkwafina Addresses "Blaccent" Controversy on Twitter

“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.”

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Awkwafina Addresses "Blaccent" Controversy on Twitter

“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.”

Awkwafina has spoken up regarding the use of a “blaccent” and African-American mannerisms throughout her career.

In a recent Twitter statement published on February 5, the Asian-American actor expressed her view concerning the racial dynamics at play. “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 writes. “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,” she continues.

Having used a “blaccent” in her early NSFW parody rap song “My Vag,” and recent acting roles in Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s Eight, this has been Awkwafina’s most significant response to accusations of cultural appropriation. The full statement encompasses her acknowledgment of the injustices the Black community in the U.S. face, as well as the presence of African-American Vernacular English in social media and music. She also mentions that there is still work to be done. “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, and what is deemed appropriate towards the progress of any marginalized group,” she adds.

Awkwafina concluded with a series of follow-up tweets announcing her retirement from Twitter, in which she offered a vague apology.

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