Awkwafina might be one of the best-known comedians today but the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star has also faced a lot of controversy in the past. For instance, people have accused the actress of cultural appropriation for using "blaccent" in practically all of her works.
Now, Awkwafina has finally issued a statement about the allegations, explaining how she respects Black culture. However, the statement is once again facing major backlash.
Awkwafina took to her official Twitter account to share a lengthy statement. In the post, the Crazy Rich Asians star explained how she respects Black cultural output and says she is committed to uplifting communities.
"There is a sociopolitical context to everything, especially the historical context of the African American community in this country," she wrote. "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 acknowledgement 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, 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," she continued. "And in life, linguistic acculturation, immigrant acculturation, and the inevitable passage of globalized internet slang all play a factor in the fine line between offense and pop culture."
Awkwafina added, "But as a non-black POC, I stand by the fact that I will always listen and work tirelessly to understand the history and context of AAVE, what is deemed appropriate or backwards toward the progress of ANY and EVERY marginalized group. 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." You can read the full statement here.
Fans were quick to support Awkwafina after she shared her statement. However, several netizens are also pointing out that the actress did not apologize for cultural appropriation and are not convinced of her sincerity.
Awkwafina has repeatedly avoided addressing the controversy in the past. Nevertheless, people are refusing to accept her latest statement and are calling for an official apology.