Awkwafina Addressed The Controversy Over Her ‘Blaccent’ In Films Before Retiring From Twitter

Last fall, the usually very articulate Awkwafina struggled to answer a question about perhaps the only controversial thing about her: her use of what’s been dubbed a “blaccent.” In movies like Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8, the actress and rapper partook in the sketchy tradition wherein non-Black people adopt a stereotypical Black voice. Now, a handful of years later, she’s finally addressing it.

In a lengthy statement dropped on her Twitter feed Saturday morning, Awkwafina began by addressing the “historical context of the African American community in this country.” She wrote about how “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.”

Awkwafina then tried to clarify her position in all this. “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 [African American Vernacular English], what is deemed appropriate or backwards 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.”

She continued:

“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,”

A couple hours later, Awkwafina returned with another announcement. “”Well, I’ll see you in a few years, Twitter – per my therapist,” she wrote. “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.”

She then clarified that she was not retiring from the entertainment industry, just from the “ingrown toenail that is Twitter,” and that she will “avail” herself “on all other socials that don’t tell you to kill yourself!”

So we’ll be hearing from Awkwafina again, and we don’t mean a postcard.

(Via People)