Ariana DeBose Responds to Virally Memed BAFTAs Rap

Ariana DeBose pays tribute to the many memes of her BAFTAs rap and thanks everyone for the outpouring of love she’s received since.

Ariana DeBose reacts to spoofs of her now-viral BAFTAs rap. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards took place on February 19th. The ceremony included a performance from West Side Story’s DeBose, who sang about some of this year’s biggest film and TV moments. This performance included a rap section about the best actress and supporting actress nominees, which has since been the subject of memes across the internet.

DeBose reacts to some of the prominent references to her BAFTA performance in a recent Instagram post.


DeBose included several videos in her post, including clips of music icons Lizzo and Adele paying tribute to the Angela Bassett line within DeBose’s rap. Alongside these videos, DeBose included more direct meme spoofs, while choosing to direct her caption towards gratitude for the “love” she has been showered with after the BAFTAs performance.

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DeBose’s BAFTA Rap Explained

Angela Bassett in Black Panther Wakanda Forever
Angela Bassett in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

The West Side Story star’s BAFTA rap was not met entirely with love in the week following the BAFTAs. While it is humbling to have stars such as Adele, Lizzo, and Halle Berry reference her rap, DeBose was also met with a fair amount of memes mocking the ridiculousness of her rap. The BAFTAs became talked about not for the likes of The Banshees of Inisherin or Tar, but for a slew of best actress names rapped by DeBose.

The most prominently memed aspect of this rap, as other celebrities above alluded to, was one inexplicable line: “Angela Bassett did the thing.” Preceded by more sensible lines, “Danielle D, you broke my heart / Michelle, I’ve loved you from the start,” the Angela Bassett line—accompanied by an impassioned shimmy from DeBose—confused viewers, leaving many to wonder what exactly is “the thing” Bassett (who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) did.

The buffoonish portrayal of DeBose’s rap even led BAFTA producer Nick Bullen to defend DeBose. According to Bullen, DeBose was “at the absolute top of her game” during the performance. Bullen even deemed the widespread pushback against her “incredibly unfair” (Variety). Fair or not, it is clear that DeBose’s rap will remain the most spoofed BAFTA moment on social media, attracting viewers who may not have otherwise been interested in the BAFTAs.

More: Angela Bassett’s Oscar Nomination Breaks An MCU Trend – But Will She Win?

Source: Ariana DeBose / Instagram

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