Awkwafina receives renewed backlash over "blaccent" for NAACP Image Award nomination
And tackling South Asian stereotypes with Netflix's new film
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🏆 The Headlines
Awkwafina’s nomination for an NAACP Image Award sparks renewed backlash — Social media users called out the 33-year-old actor and comedian after she was nominated for a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award in the Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance category for her work in Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon,” according to Blavity.
The “Shang-Chi” and “Crazy Rich Asians” actor has been accused in the past of using African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in her onscreen roles and for misappropriating Black culture. Some users have also alleged that she continues to use a “blaccent” (Black accent) in her onscreen roles despite claiming in a past interview that she refuses to do accents, especially Asian ones.
Awkwafina attempted to address the accusation that she was putting on a “blaccent” to advance her career in Hollywood during an interview last September after “Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings” was released, Reuters reported.
“I’m open to the conversation. I think it really is something that is a little bit… multi-faceted and layered,” Awkwafina said.
‘Definition Please,’ film tackling South Asian stereotypes, heads to Netflix — Directed by and starring Sujata Day, the film debuts on Netflix on Friday and highlights mental health, career success and family dynamics in the South Asian diaspora.
Best known for her work as Sarah in the HBO comedy “Insecure,” Day wrote, directed and stars in the film as protagonist Monica Chowdry.
The film deconstructs the model minority myth and highlights mental health issues widely ignored in the South Asian diaspora. Much of the plot revolves around Chowdry’s relationship with her family, particularly her estranged brother, who battles mental illness after he returns home to tend to their sick mother.
“I really wanted to start a conversation,” Day previously told NBC Asian America. “There is always chatter of successes, whether it was a second master’s degree or med school or a Wall Street job. No one talked about their failures, stresses, second chances or even therapy.”
The film earned several awards at film festivals, including the grand jury award for best narrative feature at the San Francisco Bay Area's Center for Asian American Media Festival and the outstanding directorial debut award at the South Asian Film Festival of America.
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