SHANG-CHI Star Awkwafina Issues Lengthy Statement Following Latest Cultural Appropriation Accusations

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Awkwafina has taken to social media to share a lengthy statement after once again being accused of misusing African American Vernacular English in her work.

Awkwafina's star has risen in a big way over the past few years with lead roles in everything from Jumanji: The Next Level to Raya and the Last Dragon and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. However, the actress has also courted controversy in the past, and returned to Twitter this weekend to address recurring complaints about her use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) as a performer.

It's a criticism that's been levelled at the actress and rapper many times over the years, with the gist being that she's appropriated AAVE for her own benefit to stand out in Hollywood. There's no denying that it has helped Awkwafina single herself out as unique, but with each big role, the backlash on social media has only increased.

This is a complicated subject and we'd advise reading Akwafina's statement in full below. Some appreciate her addressing the matter head-on, while others feel she's using her Asian background as a way of justifying using AAVE in her work. The biggest issue for many is the lack of a direct apology, and it seems this controversy will continue to plague the performer moving forward.

The statement itself is heartfelt, though, and Awkwafina is an undeniably talented actress who has gained a lot of fans through her work (while it was considered a divisive decision by some, her performance in Raya and the Last Dragon resulted in a nomination for an NAACP Image Award). 

Regardless, Awkwafina has also announced another social media break on the advice of her therapist.

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