Ariana DeBose once said, “Angela Bassett did the thing.”
West Side Story actress Ariana DeBose has everyone talking about the British Academy Film Awards on Twitter but not for any of the reasons you might expect.
Ariana DeBose Opens the BAFTAs With Iconic Rap About Women
In case you missed it, DeBose helped open the BAFTAs on Sunday night with a legendary performance. Along with singing the hit songs “Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves” and “We Are Family,” the singer also delivered a custom rap about the women nominees.
“All the ladies in the room, supporting and leading, all here I presume,” DeBose sang while dancing around the stage. “Hong Chau and Dolly De, Kerry and Carrie with a C. Dame Emma I’m so fond. Ana girl, you were great in Blonde! Danielle D. you broke my heart, Michelle I’ve loved you from the start.”
But this line in particular is what really cemented the performance as a viral, meme-inspiring moment online.
“Angela Bassett did the thing, Viola Davis my ‘Woman King,’ Blanchett Cate you’re a genius, Jamie Lee you are all of us.”
If you still don’t understand, see the video below for context.
I’m not kidding this will make Ariana DeBose a gay icon for the rest of her life.
— Ben Yahr (@benyahr) February 21, 2023
DeBose Leaves Twitter Over Backlash
Unfortunately, not everyone responded postively to the performance online. DeBose faced a wave of criticism on Twitter which caused her to deactivate her account.
Luckily, most people present at the awards show welcomed DeBose’s number and even danced along. While speaking to Variety, BAFTA producer Nick Bullen defended DeBose’s performance and called the feedback “incredibly unfair.”
“The songs she was singing are very familiar songs, the room was clapping, and people were sort of dancing to the music,” he said. “That rap section in the middle, mentioning the women in the room, was because it’s been a great year for women in film, and we wanted to celebrate that.”
Honestly, Angela Bassett did do the thing, but Ariana DeBose sure can sing! And she can deliver one of the campiest performances to ever grace our screens. Thank you, Ariana.
Though the actress left Twitter behind, she did embrace the many memes made about the rap lyrics on Instagram. On a post shared by writer Evan Ross Katz, DeBose commented, ““honestly I love this.” Katz had shared multiple hilarious memes all about the same line from the song.
View this post on Instagram
As this Tweet suggests, her rap will go down in history and will be great content for users to post if Angela Bassett wins an Oscar.
Everyone getting ready to tweet the video of Ariana Debose saying Angela Basset did the thing when she wins the Oscar pic.twitter.com/ShuIWI8d5E
— Weslee (@WSpark98NZ2) February 21, 2023
See the full performance here!
People need to witness Ariana DeBose’s evil BAFTA performance in full for context pic.twitter.com/1zAtYgz5fv
— Shirley Carter’s Pussy (@shirlpuzz) February 21, 2023