Actress, rapper, and comedian Nora Lum, also known as Awkwafina, received significant criticism from Black Twitter after her NAACP Award nomination.
On Tuesday, ABC’s On The Red Carpet announced, via their Twitter page, that the 33-year-old Crazy Rich Asians star was nominated for her character voice-over performance in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon. Then, Twitter users expressed their disapproval. Black men and women, in particular, were outraged.
— On The Red Carpet (@OnTheRedCarpet) January 18, 2022
“Yall didn’t think was an embarrassing choice?” asked @homiehousewife. “A woman who Blacked it up to get on??? Y’all thought, “I know she used to put on a fake Black accent to get famous, but that’s the past. She’s great, exactly what we need! Let’s give her an NAACP award! We love minstrels!”
Y’all didn’t think this was an embarrassing choice? A woman who Blacked it up to get on??? Y’all thought “I know she used to put on a fake Black accent to get famous but that’s the past she’s great , exactly what we need! Let’s give her an NAACP award! We love minstrels!” pic.twitter.com/BpXmWJQY9Q
— B!tching&Crafting (@homie_housewife) January 19, 2022
“The Blackfisher got a WHAT award nomination?!” said @Dang_Rashad.
The Blackfisher got a WHAT award nomination?!
— Joe Manchin is a demon! (@Dang_Rashad) January 19, 2022
“Y’all, I think we can vote on this, so, therefore, we gotta vote like our life depends on it because I’ll be damned if miss blaccent wins over well-deserving ACTUAL black people.” @_brexoxo_ said.
Yall, l think we can vote on this, so therefore we gotta vote like our life depends on it because l’ll be damned if miss blaccent wins over well deserving ACTUAL black people. @awkwafina @naacpimageaward pic.twitter.com/YwfnVWkZC3
— Kim Taehyung’s Wife💜👰🏾 (@_brexoxo_) January 19, 2022
User @CaseyHo even commented with a clip of Awkwafina from a Reuters Showbiz in 2021 when she addressed allegations that she used a “blaccent” in films.
Just leaving this clip of her addressing the controversy of using a 'blaccent' in films herepic.twitter.com/910zb9QDHL
— Casey Ho (@CaseyHo) January 19, 2022
“You know I’m open to the conversation. I think it really is something that I think is a little bit multifaceted and layered. And so, yeah,” the Chinese and Korean-American actress said in the clip.
Reuters posted the original clip on their Twitter page, which went viral.
Ironically, the Forest Hills, Queens native said, in an interview with VICE in 2017, that she refused to do exaggerated accents. She claimed that she avoided doing them because she didn’t want to make her people look bad.
“I refuse to do accents,” she told VICE. “I’m not OK with someone writing the Asian experience for an Asian character. I make it very clear. I don’t ever go out for auditions where I feel like I’m making a minstrel out of our people.
Awkwafina rose to fame after releasing a single called “My Vag” in 2014 in response to underground rapper Mickey Avalon’s 2016 song “My D**k.” She used an accent that allegedly resembled African American vernacular (AAVE) in the song.
Since then, she has become a widely popular entertainer who starred in multiple films, including Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), The Farewell (2019) and Ocean’s 8 (2018). She also starred in the hit Comedy Central series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, which debuted in 2020.
Awkwafina did not comment on the backlash regarding her NAACP nomination.