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Awkwafina Responds to Critics of Blaccent, AAVE, Cultural Appropriation – The Hollywood Reporter

Awkwafina returned to Twitter after a two-year absence on Saturday to address longstanding criticism of her use of black culture and appropriation of black culture.

In a statement also said she would be “retiring from Twitter,” Crazy Rich Asians and Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings the star denied that she used AAVE, or native African-American English, as well as “blaccent” – a voice that stereotypically mimics dialects of Black Americans – in a mockery of Blacks. black.

At the beginning of her message, the actress acknowledged the “historical and socio-political context of the African-American community” in the US as one of the “contexts that are disproportionately affected by the policies expressed in the United States.” institutionalization and law enforcement policy”.

“While historically and frequently have seen their culture stolen, exploited, and appropriated by the *dominant* culture for profit, without acknowledging nor respecting the origins of the crafts,” she continued.

Without saying outright that she was involved in this herself, Awkwafina said that using it in her own language was “never” meant to be offensive.

“As a non-black POC, I affirm that I will always listen and work tirelessly to understand the history and context of AAVE, what is deemed appropriate or otherwise for progress. of ANY and ANY disadvantaged group,” she wrote. “But I must stress: mocking, belittling, or being unkind in any way that can damage others is: Simple. Is not. Mine. Nature. It never has, and it never has. “

Then, in a lengthy statement, the Chinese-American actress pointed to “the fine line between derogatory behavior and pop culture,” fueled by how AAVE has been appropriated and passed down as part of a “generation of internet slang Tik-Tok” between hip-hop turning into a mainstream genre.

She attributes its use to her immigration background, public school environment, TV and movie consumption, as well as her “respect for hip-hop.”

“I think as a group, Asian Americans are still trying to figure out what that journey means to them, what exactly is and where they don’t belong,” she said. , “And while I’m still learning and doing that personal thing, I know for sure that I want to spend the rest of my career doing nothing but enhancing our community. We work first by failing, learning, acknowledging, listening and empathizing and I will continue to do that tirelessly.”

Previously, the actress was asked about her longtime use of AAVE and her stand out in comedy and dramatic roles during an interview with Reuters Showbiz in September 2021, giving her answer. brief at the time.

“Um, you know, I am very open to conversation,” said the Queens native. “I think it’s, you know, it’s really something a bit multifaceted and layered.”

Awkwafina – who goes by the specific name Nora Lum – has been challenged about her use of AAVE and her black spot by online critics as far away as she is. Tawk with Awkwafina displayed on the mobile-oriented social entertainment platform Go90. More recently, she faced backlash surrounding her performance in Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians, as well as during the press for Shang-Chi, when old clips of her use black – as does her statement in Evil behavior interview that “I refuse to make a point” when it comes to Asian characters – resurfaced.

Another wave of criticism drags on the Comedy Central’s star Awkwafina is Nora from Queens after she was nominated for the 2022 NAACP Image Award for her voice acting in television or film for her work. Raya and the last dragon.

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