Golden Globe winner Awkwafina announced she’s taking a break from Twitter. Her decision comes just a couple weeks after being nominated for a NAACP Image Award, which sparked backlash on social media due to the criticism she’s faced surrounding her controversial use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE). On Saturday, the 33-year-old “Nora From Queens” star finally addressed the years-long backlash in a lengthy statement shared on Twitter.
In her letter, she acknowledges the “fine line between offense and pop culture,” hinting at her earlier roles in “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Oceans 8.” “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 writes. “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,” she continues. “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.” She concludes: “We do this first by failing, learning, acknowledging, hearing and empathizing… And I will continue, tirelessly, to do just that.”
Hours later, Awkwafina announced her Twitter exit, writing, “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!” Read Awkwafina’s full statement ahead.