Awkwafina has once again addressed recurring questions about her use of a blaccent.
According to Revolt TV, Awkwafina, whose real name is Nora Lum, was asked by Reuters about the ongoing fan conversation regarding her use of a blaccent earlier in her rap and acting career, particularly in her first major film, 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians.
“I’m open to the conversation,” she said to Reuters, as reported by Revolt. “I think it really is something that is a little bit multi-faceted and layered.”
Earlier in the press run for Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Awkwafina was brought to the mat by Twitter for a comment she said in 2017 to VICE. In the interview, she talked about how she would never do a stereotypical Asian accent.
“I’m not OK with someone writing the Asian experience for an Asian character. 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.”
Black and Asian Twitter users quickly reminded her of her use of the blaccent and asked the hypothetical question if making fun of Black people was something she was comfortable with. Revolt cited Twitter user @istamia who 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’s 2018 performance in the Crazy Rich Asians–complete with the aforementioned forced accent–caused enough commotion on social media that Awkwafina addressed the complaints in a 2018 interview with Yahoo Movies UK, as Shadow and Act reported.
“I don’t really take the stance ‘I’m from this,'” she said regarding how she views the multicultural background she said she grew up with in Queens, NY. “I welcome that conversation because I think as an Asian American identity as a people, we’re still trying to figure out what that is. So I welcome the conversation.”
Awkwafina–hopefully sans blaccent–is set to lend her voice to the upcoming The Little Mermaid reboot starring Halle Bailey as Ariel.