Ariana DeBose Reacts To Twitter Memes Of Her Viral BAFTAs Rap

“I’m not kidding this will make Ariana DeBose a gay icon for the rest of her life,” one viewer tweeted.

Ariana DeBose Reacts To Twitter Memes About Her BAFTAs Rap Video
Ian West/PA Images/Getty Images

Ariana DeBose did the thing. Twitter is going crazy over the rap that DeBose performed at the 2023 BAFTAs on Feb. 19, lauding both its cringe and camp factors. For the ceremony’s opening number, the Oscar winner performed a medley of disco classics “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves” and “We Are Family” before launching into a rap honoring female nominees, which contained many quotable lyrics and meme-worthy moments, including her rather animated pronunciation of Angela Bassett.

“Angela Bassett did the thing, Viola Davis, my Woman King,” she rapped in part. “Blanchett Cate you’re a genius, Jamie Lee you are all of us.” The camera panned to almost every nominee as DeBose shouted them out, with reactions ranging from awe (Curtis bopping her head) to confusion (Ana de Armas looking bored) and everything in between (Davis awkwardly snapping her fingers in the background). The one reaction shot they missed was Bassett, who was in attendance, but it was for the best considering they would’ve missed DeBose’s theatrical dance move.

Amid the reaction to her performance, DeBose seemingly deleted her Twitter account, and BAFTAs producer Nick Bullen came to her defense, stating that the backlash was “incredibly unfair” and she “put the whole piece together” with her team. “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 Variety. “We felt we’re not about revolution, we’re about evolution.”

However, as captured by Comments by Celebs, DeBose reacted to the memes by commenting on Evan Ross Katz’ Instagram slideshow, which included a viral tweet that read, “When Angela Bassett wins the Oscar, she must start her speech by saying ‘and in the words of Ariana DeBose, I did the thing.’” The West Side Story star was totally fine with that. “Honestly I love this,” she wrote.

Twitter immediately became enamored with DeBose’s rap, poking fun at everything from the lyrics to the actors’ reactions while also admitting that it lived rent-free in their heads.

“Angela Bassett did the thing” alone sparked many tweets and conversations, especially in regard to Bassett’s Oscar nomination for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Thankfully, many Twitter users appreciated DeBose’s rap for the hilariously camp effort that it was, giving her credit for livening up the BAFTAs and, of course, calling her a gay icon.

Typically, Oscars tradition would call for DeBose, who won Best Supporting Actress in 2022 for her turn in West Side Story, to present Best Supporting Actor at the 2023 ceremony. But if producers don’t seize this opportunity and have her present Best Supporting Actress to Bassett, who is widely predicted to win, then that’s them not doing the thing correctly.