HomeKorean AmericanAwkwafina responds to blaccent controversy

Awkwafina responds to blaccent controversy

Actress Awkwafina says she’s open to engaging with her critics who express dismay over her use of a Black accent.

During an interview with Reuters Showbiz to promote Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, a reporter asked her about that criticism.

“I’m open to the conversation,” she said haltingly and nervously. “I think it’s really something that I think is multifaceted and layered. So, yeah.”

The lingering controversy recently resurfaced following an article that appeared in Vice in late May.

“I’ve walked out of auditions where the casting director all of a sudden changed her mind and asked for accents. I refuse to do accents,” said Awkwafina. “Like that’s annoying and 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.”

Then in the walk up to Shang-Chi, her critics took to social media to call her out for what they saw was an inconsistency. Awkwafina most recently used a Black accent in her role in Crazy Rich Asians. The former rapper has used the same mannerisms in earlier appearances.

The controversy has been lingering for several years. One of the earlier articles appeared in August 2018 in Colorlines entitled Performing blackness won’t fill our Asian American culture deficit.

The article written by Muging M Zhang called her use of the accent “disturbing.” Awkwafina wasn’t the only Asian American celebrity called out in the article. Zhang also targeted Eddie Huang and YouTuber Liza Koshy.

Where the conversation goes next may ultimately be decided by her fans. Awkwafina’s popularity and name recognition have never been higher. The flip side is that’s made her a bigger target.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Leave Awkwafina / Nora Lum alone.

    That “black” accent is the accent of young cool AMERICA.

    It may have started in the black community, but it has become the currency of youth culture in AMERICA.

    It would be as to say that Asian-AMERICANS can’t play Jazz, which is music birthed from the black American culture, but is clearly an AMERICAN art form now.

  2. The “only” Blacks that have issues with Awkwafina are the drama woke trolls. The same gene pool of fools claiming Ebonics as “their cultural” language. Awkwafina should never explain herself to trolls and fools. She talking with her “accent” is from her Brooklyn neighborhood growing up, her traits from Hip Hop/Rap culture, hipster’s lingo of her generation. This is the “American Culture”, not cultural appropriation.

  3. If I mock an asian accent, I wonder what would happen? Why won’t she mock an asian accent. Huhhh? Your response is the dumbest thing I have read in years.

  4. That is probably the most ignorant thing I’ve ever read…

    FYI a person born in America is American… not Asian, black, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, etc (American) they are just American because they were born in the country

    That is not a youth culture… which is no such thing

  5. Did you even read the end of the article or credits that said some Asian people have a problem with it as well 🤔?

    American culture is to divide, conquer, manipulate, lie, suppress, amongst other things that prove separation amongst its citizens

    You made a reference about her neighbor while also making an excuse as to that’s why she acts one way using her stage name and another way when she’s not performing (btw that’s the issue people have portraying 2 lifestyles)

    It’s a difference in having a persona as an entertainer and faking the way you are but knowing what I know about American history it’s hard for white Americans to acknowledge when the do wrong are fucked up in their thinking… so I wouldn’t expect different reading your statement

  6. It’s A ok to do whatever to ppl of color. No one cares as long as they are getting what they want. Find it funny people are defending her. Let a black person start a “persona” mocking Asian people or their culture it would be hell to pay. It’s OK to treat black ppl any type of way in this world. It’s been so normalized we have grown a callous to it. Anything black people originate or try to make our own is always taken and washed out to serve other purposes.

  7. Actually “Ebonics” word patterns and phrasing is rooted in a distinctly African American dialect. Don’t speak on things you know nothing about. Obviously this is not her accent from Brooklyn. She speaks completely differently in interviews. Just stop.

  8. Probably nothing. Asians are getting punched around on the streets and nothing has really happened, so I can’t really see how mocking an Asian accent would really do anything other than get maybe 10 people on the internet upset for a few days.

  9. Margaret Cho’s funniest bits involve her performing (not mocking, nor do I believe Awkwafina is mocking a black accent, she’s performing or using it) her mother’s Asian accent.

  10. First of all, Awkwafina is from Queens, NY. Secondly, can we just acknowledge the existence of Asian communities in Black/Hispanic neighborhood. People who see Asians with “blaccent” as an issue are the same people perpetuating the “model minority” myth. A myth created by white supremacy which has historically and currently pin Asians against other minorities.

  11. It’s ok until someone with non Asian background starts using stereotypical Asian accents as a joke or an act to further their career. Asians who identify with white supremacy will use this tactic to get ahead because they can get away with it.

  12. Dude that’s just the culture she grew up in. So that’s the accent she picked up. This is equivalent to New Yorkers having a problem with Tom Holland using their accent. Absolutely asinine to think she’s mocking the accent. That’s how she talked growing up because of where she lived, genius. The internet is filled with virtue signalling morons like you.

  13. Wow. Let me fix Your Comment Bud.

    When you’re born in America. Your Nationality is American … But your Ethnicity is not. You could be Dominican. African. Or of Asian Ethnicity. Just saying.

  14. There has always been an incredible amount of anti-black racism in the Asian community. They love our culture they just don’t like the people who create it. K-pop bands of the perfect appropriation of our culture. I just think it’s funny a woman who refuses to put on a fake Chinese accent is completely okay with putting on incredibly offenses black accent

  15. So Awkwafina used the “hood” dialect. Big woop. So what? She’s code-switching, big deal. She’s an actress.
    That “hood-speak” is not a Black cultural thing even though the majority of the people that you hear talking like that are Black. I’m Black and talking like that was never in MY culture. Let it go, the woman is going to do whatever makes the money.

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