Awkwafina has seemingly addressed the criticism surrounding her continuous usage of “blaccent.” In a 2017 interview, the Asian-American actress said “I refuse to do accents” when taking on movie roles, but a year later she was featured in “Ocean’s 8” and “Crazy Rich Asians” using what many considered to be African-American Vernacular English otherwise known as AAVE.
The backlash ensued earlier this month, after excerpts of that interview resurfaced while Awkwafina promoted her latest film, Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” When asked about her usage of the style of speech partial to the Black community and her previous stance on declining to use stereotypical accents, the 33-year-old appeared at a loss for words.
“Um, you know, I’m open to the conversation,” the New York native said during an interview via Reuters Showbiz. “I think it, you know, it’s really something that is a little bit multi-faceted and layered, and so yeah.”
Critics on social media had a field day with the response. They further blasted the former rapper for her less-than-expansive answer. “The fact she answered the question without using a “blaccent” pretty much affirms the criticism,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another person appeared to make an attempt at answering the question for the actress, whose real name is Nora Lum, writing, “Understand Nora dropped her blaccent the second she started getting more notoriety.”
That person added, “The blaccent doesn’t serve her in the Disney world so she dropped it as it no longer benefits her (monetarily). Yet has the audacity to say using an Asian accent isn’t okay, tuh.”
Another critic chimed in agreement, writing, “100% this.” That person continued, “This is the missing key point from when culture, especially black culture is stolen: the ability to utilize the profitable parts while avoiding the stigmatized parts requires privilege that black people simply do not have. That is why she’s getting dragged.”
“Awkwafina, you really should have had something prepared, you knew that question was coming. Do better girl,” commented a fourth person.
“She said literally nothing. Basically Ma’am, you need to talk in THIS way in your acting roles, and gi by your birth name beloved,” suggested another.
Check out the actress’ response down below.
Link to original Atlanta Black Star