Awkwafina, a successful Asian American actress who is starring in an upcoming Marvel film, was slammed on social media for her previous use of “blaccent.”
In a previous interview with VICE, the Shang-Chi and The Legend of the 10 Rings actress spoke about being against using an Asian accent to portray an Asian character. “I refuse to do accents,” she reportedly said. “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.”
The quote went viral on Twitter on Monday (Aug. 16) and garnered a few responses from people who recalled when Awkwafina used to speak in a “blaccent” and use African American Vernacular English (AAVE) to become famous.
Twitter user @itsamia wrote, “Awkwafina won’t do accents, but will drop rap songs in a ‘blaccent’ and won’t apologize for using it for fame. Got it. That’s an interesting word choice there. ‘Minstrel.’”
“I treat Awkwafina the same way I treat Miley Cyrus: I’m glad you’ve come into your own and did whatever soul searching you needed to do, but I remember your ‘Blaccent’ days and how quickly you discarded it when it wasn’t serving you,” tweeted @BrandonLBradfor.
“Awkwafina is so strange for saying this,” tweeted @cuntproperty. “In one instance, you don’t want Asian ppl to be stereotyped in film, which is great, but then you go on to make a mockery of what you depict as a blaccent, despite having a normal speaking voice? It just doesn’t add up.”
Twitter user @HoodSocialism tweeted, “Non-Black women like Awkwafina are not ‘code switching’ with their forced stereotypical Blaccents. Their forced stereotypical Blaccents is a form of minstrelsy. If they’re code-switching, why do those accents disappear when they’re around their family & friends??”
In a follow-up tweet, @HoodSocialism wrote, “Awkwafina grew up in Forest Hills & there’s not a lot of Black people in that area. So, how is that forced Blaccent a product of her environment when the people in her environment don’t even talk that way??”
Check out more Twitter reactions below.