Olivia Rodrigo is currently at the center of discussion on Twitter, after some fans accused her of “constantly” using AAVE in a series of resurfaced clips that went viral on Wednesday.
In the resurfaced compilation, the “Drivers License” singer can be seen on various Instagram livestreams playfully interacting with her fans and using phrases central to African American Vernacular English, or AAVE.
She says things like “I be trending” and “emotional AF” while also adopting contractions common in AAVE such as “y’all” and “imma” and speaking in what is referred to as a “blaccent.”
It appears that the majority of the clips in the compilation were from earlier in the year, around the release of "Drivers License."
As well as the video compilation, a thread of Olivia’s tweets from 2020 and early 2021 where she uses AAVE slang terms like “homegirl,” “crine,” and “yung” is also making the rounds on Twitter too.
When the resurfaced clips began circulating across social media, many fans were surprised and said that Olivia should "take accountability" for the appropriation, and "address" her past comments.
Many people were quick to highlight the "double standard" perpetuated by Olivia freely using AAVE, saying that while it's "trendy" for non-Black people to adopt such slang, Black people are still victims of discrimination for speaking the same way.
“I think the problem here is the double standard,” one person wrote. “it's cool and trendy for non-black people to talk like that but black people are still scolded for using aave even though they invented it.”
“I can see why ppl don’t think it’s that serious, but for me this is just annoying bc at the end of the day black folks definitely get discriminated against for using AAVE,” another tweeted. “Technically she’s not hurting anyone BUT she is perpetuating some mess.”
“Do you know how many black kids at my school were told they’ll never have or never amount to anything because they talk like this,” another wrote.
Some people drew comparisons with Billie Eilish, who just last month was at the center of criticism after revealing that she related to a cartoon character who was notorious for using a blaccent and appropriating Black culture.
And some people compared Olivia’s accent and mannerisms in these clips with her demeanor when she recently visited the White House. One person tweeted that “she most definitely didn't sound like this when she was with [President Joe Biden].”
However, many people came to Olivia’s defense.
Many commented that the slang used by Olivia is common across social media and particularly on TikTok, and that often those who use it aren't actually aware of its origins or of AAVE in general.
One person tweeted that while they “understand where everyone is coming from,” they believe that this slang mainly comes “from social media” and has consequently been “adapted into so many ppls vocab.”
“Do people not realise, if you are brought up in an environment where everyone is using words like “homegirl, gurl, sis, etc etc” people are bound to pick up something,” another wrote. “Making this an issue when it shouldn’t be. Please touch grass.”
One person tweeted: "Olivia is a kid that’s growing up in a time where black culture is influencing society so much to the point where people don’t even know that they are being influenced by black culture… ‘Gen z slang’ is literally mostly just AAVE getting more and more popular."
And many pointed out that other celebrities have adopted the same mannerisms, yet received little to no backlash for it.
Some people mentioned Ariana Grande’s trademark use of AAVE slang and a blaccent — which she has been called out for in the past — and questioned why Olivia is now being dragged for something that other artists seem to get away with.
“That's like half of Ari’s songs. She has literal songs that are basically in AAVE and y’all don’t care,” one person tweeted.
BuzzFeed News has contacted a spokesperson for Olivia Rodrigo for comment.