(CNN) — The comedian and actress Awkwafina issued a lengthy Twitter statement Saturday addressing criticism in the press and on social media that she has used a “blaccent,” or Black accent, and elements of African American language and mannerisms in her career.
The Queens-born Asian American star, born Nora Lum, explained her view of the racial dynamics at play.READ MORE: Apple stores file papers to unionize, including 1 in Atlanta
“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 wrote. “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.READ MORE: Special grand jury considering Trump election interference in Georgia convenes
“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.”MORE NEWS: Zelensky Says The World Should Be Prepared For The Possibility That Putin Could Use Nuclear Weapons
The statement represents her most significant response to criticisms she has used a “blaccent” throughout her career: from her early hit NSFW parody rap song “My Vag” to her more recent acting roles in the big-budget films “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ocean’s Eight.”