Awkwafina has issued a statement following past criticism of her using a "Blackccent" in certain roles.
As reported by NBC News, the 33-year-old Marvel star has faced repeated criticism in the past for using African American Vernacular English, or AAVE.
It is often referred to in pop culture as a "Blackccent"/"Blaccent" - a term that refers to non-Black individuals adopting a "Black voice". The term is one often associated with allegations of cultural misappropriation.
For example, back in 2018, Vulture's Lauren Michele Jackson wrote about Awkwafina's role in Ocean's 8:
"Sliding in and out of a grammar that speeds past certain consonants, utilizes the habitual 'be', and takes on a twang with danks and struggles aplenty, Awkwafina has inspired the resurrection of that dreaded portmanteau reserved for non-Black people with Black voices."
Awkwafina - real name Nora Lum - has now taken to Twitter to share a lengthy statement addressing the criticism.
"There is a sociopolitical context to everything, especially the historical context of the African American community in this country," she wrote in her statement.
She continued: "It is a group that is disproportionately affected by institutionalized policies and law enforcement policies — all the while having historically and routinely seen their culture stolen, exploited and appropriated by the *dominant* culture for monetary gain without acknowledgment nor respect for where those roots come from, the pioneers of its beginnings and the artists that perfected and mastered the craft."
"It is a problem we still see today — though some may pass it off as a convoluted mixture of the 'internet TikTok slang generation' that liberally uses AAVE," the MCU star wrote, adding: "To add that hip hop — a genre of music that is ubiquitous and beloved across the country — has now anchored itself as a mainstream genre in music history."
"But as a non-black POC I stand by the fact that I will always listen and work tirelessly to understand the history and the context of AAVE, what is deemed appropriate or backwards toward the progress of ANY and EVERY marginalized group," the actor wrote, before concluding:
"But I must emphasize: To mock, belittle or to be unkind in any way possible at the expense of others is: Simply. Not. My. Nature. It never has and it never was."
Following the statement, the actor also revealed that she would be quitting Twitter - writing to her followers: "Well, I’ll see you in a few years, Twitter - per my therapist. To my fans, thank you for continuing to love and support someone who wishes they could be a better person for you. I apologize if I ever fell short, in anything I did. You’re in my heart always."
She then clarified: "I am retiring from the ingrown toenail that is Twitter. Not retiring from anything else, even if I wanted to, and I didn’t drunkenly hit someone with a shoehorn and now escaping as a fugitive. Also am avail on all other socials that don’t tell you to kill yourself!"
Back in September while promoting Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Awkwafina was asked directly by Reuters Showbiz about the use of a "Blackccent", to which she replied: "Um… You know, I’m open to the conversation.
"I think it really is something that I think is a little bit multi-faceted and layered, and so… yeah."