Ariana DeBose’s Viral BAFTAs Rap Sparks Hilarious Memes
Ariana DeBose went viral after she performed at the BAFTAs Sunday (Feb. 19).
The West Side Story actress performed a bizarre girl-power rap shouting out many of the women nominees in the audience at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards show in London.
“Angela Bassett did the thing. Viola Davis, my ‘Woman King.’ Blanchett Cate, you’re a genius. Jamie Lee [Curtis], you are all of us,” she rapped during one particularly memorable moment, as the camera panned to each mentioned woman’s face.
Much like Julia Fox’s infamous Uncut Gems muse interview moment last year, DeBose’s campy performance was instantly memed on social media.
See some of the funniest memes and reactions, below:
However, some made fun of DeBose’s performance, pointing out how out of breath she sounded and lampooning the cringe-inducing lyrics.
On Monday (Feb. 20), the actress appeared to deactivate her Twitter account in response to the ridicule.
In a statement to Variety, BAFTA producer Nick Bullen defended DeBose.
“I think it’s incredibly unfair, to be frank. The songs she was singing are very familiar songs, the room was clapping, and people were sort of dancing to the music. 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,” Bullen said.
“There’s a view that the BAFTAs have to be this slightly stiff, traditional British, middle-England messaging. American awards shows have much more razzmatazz, much more showbiz and perhaps a broader range of people being involved,” he continued, noting that the BAFTAs will implement “some gentle changes” in the future.