A little late to the game here but it appears Shang-Chi star Awkwafina has (temporarily?) quit Twitter. Before bidding the social media site adieu, the Asian American actress addressed the long standing criticism over her use of “blaccent” in her work, saying it was never her intention to “mock, belittle or to be unkind in any way possible at the expense of others”. The actress, whose real name is Nora Lum, grew up in New York and is of mixed Chinese and Korean descent.
Since her breakout role in 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians, accusations of her misappropriating black culture to push her career forward have continued to dog the actress since her debut as a rapper ten years ago. As a non African-American, Awkwafina’s use of “blaccent” and adapting African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) and then eventually dropping the accent when it no longer benefits is one thing that has been widely criticised by many.
In her statement, Awkwafina cited her immigrant upbringing as what influenced her the most. “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.”
Following up her lengthy statement with two other tweets, the actress thanked her fans for their continued love and support. She also clarified that she is only retiring from “the ingrown toenail that is Twitter. Not retiring from anything else…”