Awkwafina (born name: Nora Lum) has shown that the best way to avoid being criticized online for past actions is to just leave a social media forum altogether, as she announced that she’s bouncing from Twitter in a message addressing her past use of a “blaccent.” But unlike Chrissy Teigen, Awkwafina isn’t quitting for just a few months, she’s going to be gone until 2024 per the recommendations of her therapist. Hmm… 2024? Is Awkwafina gonna run for President? With or without a blaccent?
Awkwafina is still answering for years of adopting AAVE (African American Vernacular English), including beginning her career as a rapper/comedian who often used one. Oh, you forgot she rapped? Jealous–I wish that I could. In the 2018 film, Crazy Rich Asians, her character Goh Peik Lin also dropped in and out of a blaccent. Then last year, Awkwafina was asked about her past blaccent use while promoting Marvel’s Shang-Chi. She mumbled out a word-salad about being “open to the conversation” saying it was “a bit multi-faceted and layered.” Looks like it’s as layered as four Twitter pictures of screenshots of a notes app because that’s how long Awkwafina’s statement is. Deep convo!
People says that on Saturday, Awkwafina quit “the ingrown toenail that is Twitter,” but first she non-apologized for her AAVE use in the past. I’ve read the statement a few times and I don’t see any “sorry” in there, but let me know if you find Waldo in any of this:
In the letter, Awkwafina acknowledged the “historical context of the African American community in this country,” writing: “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, 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,” she penned. “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.”
“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 that 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 spend 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,” Awkwafina concluded.
Here’s her full statement, spot the “I’m sorry,” for a chance at a prize (nothing).
— nora (@awkwafina) February 5, 2022
Awkwafina then followed up by exiting Twitter via her Twitter account, which will remain active but will be monitored by her social media team until 2024 because her therapist told her to:
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
Well, I guess this is as close as we’ll ever get to Awkwafina apologizing for her fuckery. We should probably appreciate it, to be honest. Not because it seems particularly authentic or anything, but because we’re never gonna get it from someone like Bhad Bhabie, so may as well take our wins where we can, huh?