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Awkwafina quits Twitter after addressing backlash over her 'blaccent'

Awkwafina quits Twitter after addressing backlash over her 'blaccent'
PHOTO: Facebook/Awkwafina

Awkwafina has quit Twitter after addressing the backlash over her "blaccent".

The Crazy Rich Asians star - whose real name is Nora Lum - has faced criticism for her use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE).

In a lengthy statement shared to the microblogging platform on Saturday (Feb 5), she acknowledged the "fine line between offence and pop culture" but insisted her use of the dialect was "never" meant to "mock, belittle or to be unkind" to Black people.

She began by acknowledging the "historical context of the African American community in this country," and how "a group that is disproportionately affected by institutionalized policies and law enforcement policies" has had their "culture stolen, exploited and appropriated by the *dominant* culture for monetary gain without acknowledgement nor respect for where those roots come from."

She 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 [African American Vernacular English], what is deemed appropriate or backwards toward the progress of ANY and EVERY marginalised group.

"But I must emphasise: 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."

The 33-year-old comic reflected on her own "immigrant background" and how she developed her "American identity" through pop culture.

She wrote: "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 empathising… And I will continue, tirelessly, to do just that.

The Oceans 8 actress then announced in a separate series of tweets that she is quitting the platform for good.

She said: "Well, I'll see you in a few years, Twitter - per my therapist. To my fans, thank you for continuing to love and support someone who wishes they could be a better person for you. I apologise if I ever fell short, in anything I did. You're in my heart always.

"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!"

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