ASIAN VOICES

That Time Someone Mixed Up Awkwafina With Ali Wong

So cringe.

Not again. 

Rapper and actress Awkwafina took to Twitter Wednesday to describe an encounter at a CVS that’s, unfortunately, all too relatable for many people of Asian descent.  

The “Crazy Rich Asians” star explained that a man approached her, telling the actress that she’s his favorite comedian who “inspired him to follow his dreams.” Except he wasn’t referring to her at all. 

C’mon dude. Awkwafina and Ali Wong don’t look remotely similar. After the actress shared her story, however, several other Asian-Americans, including celebrity chef Dale Talde and renowned food writer David Lam, shared their own stories of being mixed up with other Asians. It’s just all too common. 

In January, fellow “Crazy Rich Asians” stars Ronny Chieng and Remy Hii called People Magazine out for royally screwing up the names of the cast members in a photo at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Hii explained that mixing up names and faces represents a larger issue. 

“When you fail to recognise our faces, when you consistently misattribute our names as though any asian performer is interchangeable, you erase our identities & you erase our humanity,” he wrote on Twitter. “You negate our achievements & talents with your ignorance. We’re not going to take it. Do better.” 

So, for the people in the back: Not all Asians look the same. 

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