Nora Lum, who professionally goes by the name Awkwafina, recently went on a press tour to promote Disney’s Shang-Chi and was asked about her “Black accent” in her blockbuster debut Crazy Rich Asians back in 2018.
“I’m open to the conversation. I think it really is something that is a little bit… multi-faceted and layered,” the Shang-Chi actress stated.
However, people are not having it and once the interview made its way online, one user on Twitter quickly debunked the actresses’ answer as to why she uses a “blaccent,” “She’s not black. She doesn’t get to speak like that, especially for clout. It’s not that complicated. It’s not ‘layered.'”
More are calling the actress out saying she gave a “non-answer” and was being “hypocritical” of a previous statement she made in an interview to Vice back in 2017 that had recently resurfaced.
“I refuse to do [Asian] accents. 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.”
Awkwafina is of Chinese and Korean descent and some have taken the use of her “blaccent” as a money grab and noticed that the actress abandoned the accent once she accepted her latest role, “Understand Nora dropped her blaccent the second she started getting more notoriety. The blaccent doesn’t serve her in the Disney world so she dropped it as it no longer benefits her (monetarily). Yet has the audacity to say using an Asian accent isn’t okay, tuh,” one user wrote.
Look how people are reacting to Awkwafina’s interview below:
100% this— 1312 Kill Your Masters Street (@TroelleEmbiid) September 18, 2021
This is the missing key point from when culture, especially black culture is stolen: the ability to utilize the profitable parts while avoiding the stigmatized parts requires privilege that black people simply do not have.
That is why she's getting dragged.
So you mean to tell me sis put on a blaccent for a movie and the producers let her slide with it??? Someone’s not doing the math right!!! pic.twitter.com/zcRbLdQnWZ— ny. (@misseverywhereg) September 18, 2021
She’s been asked that question for years and she ducked answering. She doesn’t have an answer because the truth is ugly, she appropriated an offensive, minstrel persona for clout then lied about it instead of just apologizing and doing better.— kristalisbougie (@kristal100) September 18, 2021
The fact she answered the question without using a "blaccent" pretty much affirms the criticism.— Stephen (@nipsey) September 17, 2021
Awkwafina is purposefully appropriating a blaccent to create a Black-adjacent minstrel character for film… however, she literally said she finds offensive to appropriate an Asian accent for film & she wouldn’t audition for Asian minstrel roles. Can’t be this hard to comprehend🤦🏾♀️— Pettiferous Polly (@catchtheruse) September 19, 2021