Lists Recaps Reviews Interviews Explainers
News

Awkwafina quits Twitter after defending her ‘blaccent’ amid criticism

Awkwafina at the Refinery29 event in LA
Actress and comedian Awkwafina responds to accusations of using “blaccent” and AAVE. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/ImagePressAgency

Actress Nora Lum, known as Awkwafina, has issued an official statement regarding the accusations of her using a “blaccent.”

The Crazy Rich Asians and Nora From Queens star took to Twitter over the weekend with a four-page acknowledgment to anyone she may have offended, along with an explanation as to why her accent may have been mistaken.

Awkwafina has been called out for using a ‘blaccent’ and AAVE

The comedian has been accused of using a “blaccent,” a conjoined term for “Black accent,” as well as AAVE (African American Vernacular English) in the way she speaks.

In the first part of her response, Awkwafina addressed the African American community by saying there is a sociopolitical context to it in this country.

She wrote, “It is a group that is disproportionately affected by institutionalized policies and law enforcement policies – all the while having historically and routinely seen their culture stolen, exploited and appropriated by the *dominant*culture for monetary gain without acknowledgment nor respect for where those roots come from, the pioneers of its beginnings and the artists that perfected and mastered the craft.”

She then claimed the issue is still prevalent today due to society’s use of social media and the evolution of music. She said, “Some may pass it off as a convoluted mixture of the ‘internet TikTok slang generation’ that liberally uses AAVE, to add that hip hop has now anchored itself as a mainstream genre in music history. 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.”

After addressing the issue as a whole, she then explained her position and where she currently stands.

“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 backward toward the progress of ANY and EVERY marginalized group, she wrote. “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.”

In the last block of her response, Awkwafina talked about her own immigrant background and how she based her own American identity on the shows/movies she watched, children she went to school with, and her respect for hip hop music.

“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 explained. “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.”

She ends her lengthy response with an acknowledgment that she will continue learning, acknowledging, hearing, and empathizing with these different communities.

Afterward, Awkwafina followed up her four-page statement with two tweets that solidified her withdrawal from the social media platform – in nothing short of her true comedic fashion.

Awkwafina officially said goodbye to Twitter by using comedy

In the first tweet, she wrote, “To clarify: 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!”

Awkwafina uses comedic humor to address her situation on Twitter
Pic credit: @awkwafina/Twitter

She continued the statement with her second tweet that addressed and thanked her fans.

“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 my heart always.”

Awkwafina addresses and apologized to her fans in her tweet
Pic credit: @awkwafina/Twitter

Fans have mixed reactions to the comedian’s official statement

The most popular responses to Awkwafina’s posts were fans saying they were not satisfied with her statement – claiming she never actually apologized.

Twitter user @Afro_Soulxx wrote, “AAs and black Twitter asked Awkwafina to stop using AAVE and her bs blaccent. She posts a long-ass excuse without an apology, liked tweet replies from non-black people telling her she has nothing to apologize for and dipped. Don’t play in our faces about ‘POC solidarity’ again.”

Another user followed up with a similar response, claiming Awkwafina never took the proper accountability.

Twitter user @_moonimo_ said, “A 6 page long notes app ‘apology’ to say yes i know about the history of AAVE, yes I understand the implications of nonblack ppl using it, yes as a poc I understand the importance of not perpetuating stereotypes — no I will not say sorry bc that’s not my nature.”

However, despite the immediate backlash of Awkwafina not apologizing for her offensive accent, some fans have stepped in to defend the comedian.

One user replied, “I’m sorry, but do I have 2 apologize 4 the mixed-culture I grew up in L.A. now? Many of us Asian Americans grew up w/ blaccent, KGFJ & Soul Train! It was just part of our world! I don’t think any1 has 2 apologize 4 any of it as we’re all influenced by people & things around us!”

Fan of Awkwafina defends her on Twitter
Pic credit: @MsMozzarella66

Although Awkwafina has stepped away from Twitter until 2024, as per her new Twitter bio that says her social team will take over in the meantime, she will remain on all other social media platforms.

Leave a Comment

Comments - Have Your Say

Leave a Reply