Awkwafina Faces Backlash for History of Using Black Stereotypes Amid NAACP Image Awards Nomination

The decision to nominate the actor for “outstanding character voice-over performance” was met with criticism on social media.

Getty Images: Gregg DeGuire / Contributor
Getty Images: Gregg DeGuire / Contributor

The NAACP Image Awards has listed Asian American actor Awkwafina among its newly released nominees, a decision which has proven unpopular among social media users given the comedian’s history of using Black stereotypes to advance her career.

Awkwafina, who has been nominated for “outstanding character voice-over performance” for her work in Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon,” received criticism in September for her history of using African American Vernacular English, misappropriating Black accents, and using Black women for comedic effect.


When addressing the accusations in an interview, the actor evaded the questions without taking responsibility for her actions.

The nomination has raised eyebrows on Twitter given the NAACP’s history of honoring and spotlighting Black achievements and change makers within the community.

“NAACP might as well give out awards for best blackface performance now,” one user tweeted.

Others accused the NAACP of rewarding a modern-day “minstrel show.”