Awkwafina has been accused of using a "Blaccent" in the past, which has made the actress and comedian a controversial figure of Asian representation. While she's never directly addressed these allegations against her in the past, Awkwafina decided to speak up on the issue in a recent interview.
While promoting Marvel movie Shang-Chi, where she plays the hero's best friend Katy, Awkwafina asked about her putting on a "Black accent" earlier in her career and in the blockbuster, Crazy Rich Asians. In the clip, she responds to the interviewer and later looks straight on-camera saying, "I'm open to the conversation. I think it really is something that is a little bit... multi-faceted and layered."
Still, a lot of people on the internet see this as a non-answer. Some wish she had been more prepared to address the controversy, especially since these accusations aren't new.
Last month, Awkwafina was called out for being "hypocritical" after quotes from a 2017 Viceinterview resurfaced. Back then she said, "I refuse to do [Asian] accents. I'm not OK with someone writing the Asian experience for an Asian character."
Those in the Black community thought this was ironic, and some critics have said that Asian Americans like her and Eddie Huang have benefited from white society rewarding them for appropriating Black culture.
Awkwafina has yet to provide further public comment on the matter.