No Awkountability: Awkwafina Quits Twitter In Notes App Non-Apology For Blaccent, Twitter Drags Her By The Minstrel Moniker

Where did your accent go, Buckwild?

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This could’ve stayed in the drafts, sis. You know it’s bad when you’re following Joe Rogan on a non-apology tour to prove how “not racist” you really are. After years of criticism for clout-chasing with a caricature based on Black stereotypes, accused appropriator Awkwafina addressed the issue head-on (and then totally side-stepped it) in a statement she posted to Twitter on Saturday.

Thandiwe Newton, Joe Rogan, The Rock, Awkwafina… what in the hell is going on?!


— ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀ (@callmedollar) February 5, 2022

The Marvel star got roasted online when she fumbled a question about the long-standing controversy during an interview for Shang Chi back in 2021. Notice how this interview, like several appearances she made after the fame and checks grew substantially, lacks that urban flavor she claimed was an organic extension of growing up in Queens.

It’s not complicated or multiplayered, it’s really quite straightforward. @awkwafina has been been using a racialized trope regarding black speech to advance her career. She’s appropriated & racialized black people for her success. She’s “made it” & had moved on. It’s anti-black.

— Kyle J. Howard (@KyleJamesHoward) September 19, 2021

The comedian, whose real name is Nora Lum, started her message with a lesson about the importance of “the historical context of the African American community” and how it has been “disproportionately affected by institutionalized policies and law enforcement policies.” Ok, maybe she has been listening to feedback on how she leaned on AAVE (or African American Vernacular English) with her breakout roles in Crazy Rich Asians and Oceans 8.

“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,” she wrote.

— nora (@awkwafina) February 5, 2022

Mentioning that people generally exploit Black culture without actually acknowledging that she’s made millions of dollars doing the same thing is as close as she got to an apology. After a vague promise to “always listen” and “work tirelessly to understand” the nuances of using AAVE, she skipped right over admitting her mistakes to double down on her innocence.

“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.”

All these words and not one apology.

Awkwafina could have just said: "You were right. I did use a blaccent to make a name for myself and that was wrong. I wholeheartedly apologize, and I'll do better from now on."

— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) February 5, 2022

Is this rehearsal for her acceptance speech at the NAACP Image Awards? The rest of the statement lists the “fine line between offense and pop culture”, the “internet Tik-Tok slang generation”, and her “immigrant background” in the explanations and excuses that fill up the other half of her statement.

“I think as a group, Asian Americans are still trying to figure out what that journey means for them, what is correct and where they don’t belong,” Nora wrote. “And though I’m still learning and doing that personal work, I know for sure that I want to spend the rest of my career doing nothing but lifting our communities. We do the first by failing, learning, acknowledging, hearing and empathizing and I will continue tirelessly to do just that.”

It’s funny that the New York native leans on her Asian immigrant background because she told Vice doesn’t play about minstrelsy when it comes to her own culture.

“I refuse to do accents. 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

— Tæ (@MonicasFlight) August 14, 2021

So I just want to understand something, you think using a stereotypical Asian accent is minstrelsy but you don't think doing the same exact thing but with a different culture isn't? You shouldn't even have started this conversation if you weren't willing to actually listen.

— Astrid Wolfe (@notalonelynug) February 5, 2022

I mean, In Crazy Rich Asians, which I enjoyed & was happy to see (in part b/c my wife is Vietnamese but I’m part Chinese) she really was doing “minstrel” as an Asian woman without the literal black face. 😅

— Kyle J. Howard (@KyleJamesHoward) September 19, 2021


Right after the statement, Nora tweeted that she will be “retiring from the ingrown toenail that is Twitter.”

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 ❤️

— nora (@awkwafina) February 5, 2022

To Clarify: 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!

— nora (@awkwafina) February 5, 2022

Plenty of Nora’s enablers rushed to reassure her that she did nothing wrong and had no need to apologize. Her critics quickly noticed that’s who she will really “always listen” to. Her favorites are full of mostly non-Black people accepting her non-apology on Black people’s behalf.

Not Awkwafina liking all the comments from white people & non Black people telling her she did nothing wrong. 🤮It's giving "Those mean niggers shouldn't criticize a good person like you for being racist 🥺. You did nothing wrong to those monkeys."Girl, fuck you.

— XzavierJJ (@XzavierJJ) February 5, 2022

This unsolicited statement left everyone with more questions than answers because no one was holding their breath for her to say a whole lot of nothing.

How do you write a 4-6 page notes app “apology” to address how you essentially use AAVE and a blaccent like a walking minstrel show to make millions, yet the words sorry or I apologize never once touched the page…

— Cai (@CaelliJohnson) February 5, 2022

You never apologize. You toss it on being an immigrant while also clearly understanding what you were doing was a performative minstrel act to gain popularity. You get to be racist, gain fortune from it, wash away any "Blackness" as if it was dirty, then claim allyship? NO

— 💛🐝THEE JewelHunter🇵🇷🇹🇹🇻🇮🏳️‍🌈 (@ChrystalChipria) February 5, 2022

You're lying.

You're not an immigrant you were born here in Queens just like me.

You weren't around Black people your neighborhood is 2% Black.

Your high school is 9% Black.

Those low low numbers in a boro that's 20% Black….basically you lived a segregated life.

— The Cocky One (@CockyMF) February 5, 2022

The people who tried to patiently and respectfully continue the conversation Nora said she was open to, she blocked them instead.

So @awkwafina releases a statement on her use of blaccent an hour ago, and I tweet this back at her in a COMPLETELY respectful manner, and I get BLOCKED??

— Jonah Sahn (@jonahsahn) February 5, 2022

Most people simply wanted her to take accountability and drop the offensive act and over-the-top name, not barging into Black History Month with this mess.

awkwafina so annoying simply bcuz she’s a great actress but she doesn’t know when to stop talking like change ur name back to nora and actually say sorry instead of all these around the way versions😭😭😭

— 🎄 zoë 🎄 (@filmsbyzoe) February 5, 2022

Awkwafina had YEARS. I repeat YEARS to address this shit and come clean, face the music and apologize. YEARS.

We all knew this was coming. Her response? Half ass non apology, ducking real responsibility then quitting Twitter.

Cannot stress this one fact enough. SHE. HAD. YEARS.

— Dart_Adams (@Dart_Adams) February 5, 2022

Do you buy Nora’s explanation of the blaccent accusations or is it too little too late?

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