Ariana DeBose Deactivates Twitter Account After Performing Awkward Rap At BAFTAs
Maybe we should all think about the thing we did to Ariana DeBose.
The Broadway star and actor who won an Oscar for her performance as Anita in 2022’s “West Side Story” seems to have deactivated her Twitter account Monday after a BAFTA performance Sunday night that was, uh, well, pretty cheesy.
Ariana DeBose performs onstage during the 2023 BAFTAs on Feb. 19, 2023, in London, England.
HuffPost has reached out to DeBose for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.
Ariana DeBose has deactivated her Twitter account after going viral for her performance at the 2023 #BAFTAs. pic.twitter.com/CTd2dvJW5o
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 20, 2023
Twitter poked a little fun at DeBose Sunday night after she rapped about all the women nominated for BAFTAs during the award show’s opening number.
It didn’t help that while she rapped about each nominee, the camera panned to that specific actor and most appeared to exude a certain amount of awkwardness when their name was mentioned.
Sisters are doing it for themselves! The incredible @ArianaDeBose opens the 2023 #EEBAFTAs with an iconic performance! ✨ pic.twitter.com/G9YgKN2e1t
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) February 19, 2023
DeBose, who admittedly performed the rap like any musical theater pro probably would, also got a lot of attention for one cryptic line in which she said, “Angela Bassett did the thing.”
In fact, the line was discussed so much that “Angela Bassett” trended on Twitter Monday, with mixed reactions.
Some people made fun of the lyric …
Grateful that we have a national holiday in America today to celebrate the fact that Angela Bassett did the thing pic.twitter.com/Bun4jjpH7A
— Mara Webster 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@Mara_Webster) February 20, 2023
"so....did a thing 😌" - angela bassett
— David Mack (@davidmackau) February 20, 2023
Ariana DeBose wasn’t lying!! Angela Bassett did do the thing pic.twitter.com/VhcmA5OMyc
— euan (@imeuanxo) February 20, 2023
… While others seemed to appreciate DeBose’s over-the-top interpretation of it.
me when angela bassett wins her oscar pic.twitter.com/QDqO9erdG9
— Bráden (@bapoapst) February 20, 2023
unfortunately I will be physically unable to pronounce Angela Bassett’s name any other way 😭 pic.twitter.com/Hsd9mluZ41
— Louis Staples (@LouisStaples) February 20, 2023
ANGELA BASSETT DID THE THINGGG, such a boppp😍😍 https://t.co/s82oVk5zwopic.twitter.com/99d35xVCGd
— ivan ❤️🔥 (@nvmijustforgot) February 20, 2023
It’s unclear if this is why DeBose deactivated her account — and the bulk of the tweets about her rap are more in the spirit of light teasing than pure vitriol. But there was enough chatter online about her rap that BAFTA producer Nick Bullen told Variety Monday that criticism of it was “incredibly unfair.”
Bullen told the outlet that DeBose “put the whole piece together” in a short amount of time with her team and worked closely with a musical director and choreographer. Bullen said the rap was meant to celebrate “a great year for women in film” performed by “a woman of color 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, Bullen 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,” Bullen told Variety. “But American awards shows have much more razzmatazz, much more showbiz, and perhaps a broader range of people being involved. We felt we’re not about revolution, we’re about evolution.”
But, considering the jokes, we can’t really blame DeBose too much for wanting to do this kind of Angela Bassett thing to her Twitter account: