Awkwafina has re-addressed her "Blaccent" controversy is leaving Twitter, where she has received the harshest criticism.
The Golden Globe-winning comedy actress, comedian rapper and star of the hit movies Crazy Rich Asians, Oceans 8 and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings announced her exit from the social media platform on Saturday, Feb. 5, following years of accusations of allegedly using African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in her music and some of her movies and for alleged cultural appropriation.
"Well, I'll see you in a few years, Twitter - per my therapist," Awkwafina tweeted. "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."
The 33-year-old star added, "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!"
Awkwafina, who remains active on Instagram, earlier wrote in what marked her first published Twitter post in two years, "There is a sociopolitical context to everything, especially the historical context of the African American community in this country. It is a group that is disproportionally 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."
The comedy star, whose real name is Nora Lum, continued, "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. 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."
"But as a non-black POC [sic], 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," Awkwafina said. "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 is never has, and it never was."
The star continued, "My immigrant background allowed me to carve an American identity off the movies and tv shows I watched, the children I went to public school with, and my undying love and respect for hip hop. I think as a group, Asian Americans are still trying to figure out what the journey means for them — what is correct and where they don't belong. And though I'm still learning and doing that personal work, I know for sure that I want to spent the rest of my career doing nothing but uplifting our communities. We do this first by failing, learning, acknowledging, hearing and empathizing... And I will continue, tirelessly, to do just that."
Last September, Awkwafina addressed the criticism over her past use of a "Blaccent" onscreen, in an on-camera Reuters interview.
"You know, I'm open to the conversation," she said. "I think it really is something that I think is a little bit multi-faceted and layered."
In 2017, amid the backlash, Awkwafina also drew controversy for saying in a VICE interview, "I've walked out of auditions where the casting director all of a sudden changed her mind and asked for accents. I refuse to do accents."
Amid the controversy, Awkwafina has also been praised for her efforts to promote diversity in Hollywood. BD Wong, who plays her dad on her show Nora from Queens, praised the star in a 2020 People interview, saying she has "hired a lot of women and a lot of people of color."
In 2019, Awkwafina told The Hollywood Reporter, "I think that there's a progressive shift in Hollywood right now. People's diversity is not a trend. Diversity is something that's just here to stay. The projects that I have been in were very reflective of that and I'm very lucky to have been on those sets."