Black Twitter gathered cultural appropriator Awkwafina after she addressed criticisms regarding her incessant use of a “Blaccent” to further her career.
On Feb. 5, the Crazy Rich Asians star attempted to finally speak about accusations of using stereotypical tropes of Black folks to gain clout. She used caricatures of Black life, including the ‘sassy Black girl” and culture, for years but remained relatively silent whenever she was called to the carpet.
Awkwafina, born Nora Lum, took to Twitter to explain herself and offer what many deemed a sorry not sorry attitude about her past work. She also announced that she would no longer use the social media platform.
“There is a sociopolitical context to everything, especially the historical context of the African-American community in this country,” she wrote. “It is a group that is disproportionately affected by institutionalized policies and law enforcement policies — all while having historically and routinely seen their culture stolen, exploited, and appropriated by the *dominant* culture for monetary gain without any acknowledgment nor respect for where those roots come from, the pioneers of its beginnings, and the artists that perfected and mastered the craft.”
Awkwafina then let her Twitter fingers justify her egregious behavior. The 33-year-old Queens, New York native even claimed to be an “immigrant” while attributing her cultural appropriation to loving hip-hop.
“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 backwards toward the progress of ANY and EVERY marginalized group.”
The American-born woman of Chinese and Korean descent also wrote that she never meant to “mock, belittle, or to be unkind in any way possible at the expense of others is.”
— nora (@awkwafina) February 5, 2022
“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,” she continued. “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.”
Awkwafina also vowed that she would “spend the rest” of her career “uplifting our communities.”
Black Twitter dragged Awkawfina over the patronizing tweets and made it clear that there would be no redemption.
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 xx pic.twitter.com/esKX8fVgj6
— nimo🐠 (@_moonimo_) February 5, 2022
So why are you liking tweets that say “You did nothing wrong” just curious….if this “apology” is so sincere. Or did you post it to garner sympathy from people who claim you’re being “bullied”, aka being held accountable. And why only now after Shang Chi released.
— Dija ☕ (@Fluffy_tampons) February 5, 2022
Girl, not on the 4th day of Black History Month pleasssssee
— YOU NEED TO LEAVE 🥴 (@SecretDivva) February 5, 2022
How do you write a 4-6 page notes app “apology” to address how you essentially use AAVE and a blaccent like a walking minstrel show to make millions, yet the words sorry or I apologize never once touched the page… pic.twitter.com/CDkul8nnY7
— Cai (@CaelliJohnson) February 5, 2022
Of course you’re liking all the replies from non black people telling you you did nothing wrong. Smh
— ❤️ (@ehs06702) February 5, 2022
this is not an apology. this is, in fact, the opposite of an apology. this is a denial of harm. saying nothing would have been better than this. saying “blaccent is bad, but i never did it, im better than that,” despite ample evidence of the contrary, is a slap in the face.
— we live in a hell world (@buttman5000) February 5, 2022
All these words and not a sorry in sight pic.twitter.com/XJdmwNiYMS
— Halo😇 (@haloovermyhead) February 5, 2022
To date, the only “uplifting” or charitable work she’s done has been in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. In 2020, she raised money for Chinatown businesses in New York. In 2019, she was honored for her outstanding work in the AAPI community. Her work in the community she used as a come-up remains to be seen. However, she was nominated for an NAACP award to the chagrin of Black folks.