Where did your accent go, Buckwild?
This could’ve stayed in the drafts, sis. You know it’s bad when you’re following Joe Rogan on a non-apology tour to prove how “not racist” you really are. After years of criticism for clout-chasing with a caricature based on Black stereotypes, accused appropriator Awkwafina addressed the issue head-on (and then totally side-stepped it) in a statement she posted to Twitter on Saturday.
The Marvel star got roasted online when she fumbled a question about the long-standing controversy during an interview for Shang Chi back in 2021. Notice how this interview, like several appearances she made after the fame and checks grew substantially, lacks that urban flavor she claimed was an organic extension of growing up in Queens.
The comedian, whose real name is Nora Lum, started her message with a lesson about the importance of “the historical context of the African American community” and how it has been “disproportionately affected by institutionalized policies and law enforcement policies.” Ok, maybe she has been listening to feedback on how she leaned on AAVE (or African American Vernacular English) with her breakout roles in Crazy Rich Asians and Oceans 8.
“All the while having historically and routinely seen their culture stolen, exploited and appropriated by the *dominant* culture for monetary gain, without acknowledgment nor respect for where those roots come from, the pioneers of its beginnings and the artists that perfected and mastered the craft,” she wrote.
Mentioning that people generally exploit Black culture without actually acknowledging that she’s made millions of dollars doing the same thing is as close as she got to an apology. After a vague promise to “always listen” and “work tirelessly to understand” the nuances of using AAVE, she skipped right over admitting her mistakes to double down on her innocence.
“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.”
Is this rehearsal for her acceptance speech at the NAACP Image Awards? The rest of the statement lists the “fine line between offense and pop culture”, the “internet Tik-Tok slang generation”, and her “immigrant background” in the explanations and excuses that fill up the other half of her statement.
“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,” Nora wrote. “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 lifting our communities. We do the first by failing, learning, acknowledging, hearing and empathizing and I will continue tirelessly to do just that.”
It’s funny that the New York native leans on her Asian immigrant background because she told Vice doesn’t play about minstrelsy when it comes to her own culture.
Right after the statement, Nora tweeted that she will be “retiring from the ingrown toenail that is Twitter.”
Plenty of Nora’s enablers rushed to reassure her that she did nothing wrong and had no need to apologize. Her critics quickly noticed that’s who she will really “always listen” to. Her favorites are full of mostly non-Black people accepting her non-apology on Black people’s behalf.
This unsolicited statement left everyone with more questions than answers because no one was holding their breath for her to say a whole lot of nothing.
The people who tried to patiently and respectfully continue the conversation Nora said she was open to, she blocked them instead.
Most people simply wanted her to take accountability and drop the offensive act and over-the-top name, not barging into Black History Month with this mess.
Do you buy Nora’s explanation of the blaccent accusations or is it too little too late?
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