Ariana DeBose is addressing her recent BAFTA performance after it went viral for all the wrong reasons.
The actor and singer was widely mocked online for rapping about all the women nominated at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday. DeBose seemed to be silenced and even deactivated her Twitter account amid the ridicule, but she appeared in person on Saturday to address the fiasco.
“Honestly, it’s not like, ‘Hey BAFTA, let me in!'” she told host Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2’s “Breakfast Show”.
“That’s the task — like, ‘Come celebrate women.’ And I was like, ‘Absolutely!’ And we did that, and it was fun. Not going to lie – I had a blast.”
DeBose told Ball that the performance for her peers was “amazing” and “amazing,” adding that she followed it up by “cutting the rug” with actress Emma Thompson. The Oscar-winning “West Side Story” star also said that director Baz Luhrmann, who won two BAFTAs in 1998, told her she had done well.
“He was like: ‘No, I think you’re great. That was fun. I had fun,’” DeBose told Ball. “And I was like, ‘work.’ That’s a win, guys. And apparently, Twitter seemed gay, so that’s a good thing. I will take it.”
While Ball described DeBose’s rap as “a woman singing and dancing, being amazing, celebrating women,” much of the internet had a different reaction, and turned it into a meme. The performance, which came after host Richard E. Grant’s opening monologue, was definitely more mature for him.
“Miss Emma, I am very excited. Anna, girl, you were great in ‘Blonde,'” she rapped. “Daniel D., you broke my heart. Michelle, I have loved you from the beginning. Angela Bassett did the thing. Viola Davis, my ‘Woman King.’ Blanchett, Kate, you are a genius. Jamie Lee, we have you all!”
Although the nominated actors – Thompson, Ana de Armas, Danielle Deadwyler, Michelle Yeoh, Bassett, Davis, Cate Blanchett and Jamie Lee Curtis – seemed to enjoy the performance, Twitter users shared ideas of their ownwhich probably prompted DeBose to leave the platform.
Although she has yet to reactivate her account, DeBose has gathered some high-profile supporters.
BAFTA producer Nick Bullen told Variety that the “extremely unfair” criticism of DeBose, who “put the whole piece together,” may have stemmed from a clash between the “young people” his rap was aimed at and the “a bit stiff, traditional” crowd.
On Saturday, the actress reposted an Instagram video of Lizzo reciting her rap at a concert in Amsterdam, writing, “The whole internet is wild.” In the comments section, “The Last of Us” star Melanie Lynskey told DeBose she was “amazing,” and actress Gabrielle Union chimed in with some red heart emojis. So it certainly seems that DeBose did … the thing.