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.’”
awkwafina won't do accents but will drop rap songs in a "blaccent" and won't apologize for using it for fame. got it— Mia Tsai (@itsamia) August 16, 2021
that's an interesting word choice there. "minstrel" https://t.co/3EASUbgWvf
“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.
I treat Awkwafina the same way I treat Miley Cirus:— Brandon Bradford (@BrandonLBradfor) August 16, 2021
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.
“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.”
awkwafina is so strange for saying this. In one instance you don’t want Asian ppl do be stereotyped in film which is great but then you go on make a mockery of what you depict a blaccent despite having a normal speaking voice? It just doesn’t add up https://t.co/I5tAZh65OG— ♡ ♡ ♡ (@cuntproperty) August 15, 2021
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??”
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?? pic.twitter.com/KbMjtLVcAN— Bella Goth (@HoodSocialism) August 16, 2021
Check out more Twitter reactions below.
Say it with me, "Awkwafina speaking in blaccent is not code switching"— Frankie Huang 黄秋隐 (@ourobororoboruo) August 16, 2021
Awkwafina before she dropped the blaccent pic.twitter.com/PgNhk0XImm— Gossip Girl Here (@LadyYunaIesca) August 16, 2021
I’m glad people are finally calling this out. Awkwafina has never had to answer for using a blaccent to blow up and then it disappeared somehow overnight once she made a lil money. And then to have the nerve to say what she said below? Fuck off https://t.co/Ip1GvIZblo— Stinkmeaner's Grandson (@g3kkou_) August 15, 2021
One of the most annoying things about Awkwafina is that The Farewell showed there's a competent actress under the blaccent but she instead decided to build her career doing shit like this— Virtuoso Sim Aspiration (@LeahCsMovies) August 17, 2021
(The fact that shit like this works as a successful career builder is a separate issue) pic.twitter.com/03niBlgC2E