Ariana DeBose breaks silence after backlash over cringe BAFTAs rap

The Broadway star and actor, who won an Oscar for her performance as Anita in 2022’s West Side Story, has broken her silence after departing Twitter today. Ariana deactivated her account on the social media platform following jibes about her “awkward” rap performance at the BAFTAs on Sunday evening.

Using one of the performance’s memorable lyrics, one meme features a shot of former US President George W. Bush being told of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center by former Chief Of Staff Andy Card.

The image, perhaps one of the defining moments from the 2001 tragedy, is superimposed with the words: “Sir, Angela Bassett did the thing.”

Responding to the lighthearted post today, Ariana shrugged off the criticism and wrote: “Honestly, I love this.”

It comes as Twitter was divided on Sunday night after Angela rapped about all the women nominated for BAFTAs during the awards show’s opening number.

As she rapped about each nominee, the camera panned to that specific actor and most appeared to exude a certain amount of awkwardness when their names were mentioned.

“Angela Bassett did the thing, Viola Davis my ‘Woman King’”

“Blanchett Cate you’re a genius, Jamie Lee you are all of us,” she rhymed, audibly out of breath.

Meanwhile, the reactions from the audience were all uniquely amusing—from Ana de Armas’ blank expression to Kerry Condon’s genuine concern.

Ariana got the most attention for one cryptic line, in which she said, “Angela Bassett did the thing.”

The lyric prompted Angela Bassett to trend all day on Twitter Monday, with mixed reactions.

@Mara_Webster typed: “Grateful that we have a national holiday in America today to celebrate the fact that Angela Bassett did the thing.”

@davidmackau remarked: “So….did a thing – Angela Bassett”

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@imeuanxo commented: “Ariana DeBose wasn’t lying!! Angela Bassett did do the thing.”

@bapoapst added: “Me when Angela Bassett wins her Oscar.”

It’s unclear if Ariana deactivated her account because of the reaction to her rap.

BAFTA producer Nick Bullen told Variety on Monday that criticism of the actress’ performance was “incredibly unfair”.

Nick told the outlet that Ariana “put the whole piece together” in a short amount of time with her team and worked closely with a musical director and choreographer.

He said the rap was meant to celebrate “a great year for women in film” performed by “a woman of colour who is at the absolute top of her game.”

When asked by Variety if the mocking may be due to a culture clash, or because people only saw the rap portion of her performance, Nick responded by saying that the rap was meant to resonate with “younger people” and “diverse groups” and not the “the traditional British award ceremony audience”.

“I think a lot of people don’t like change, and there’s a view that the BAFTAs have to be this slightly stiff, traditional British, middle-England messaging,” he told the publication.

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