Ariana DeBose breaks silence after backlash to her viral Bafta performance

Ariana DeBose has shared that she “loves” some of the memes about her Baftas rap  (Getty Images)
Ariana DeBose has shared that she “loves” some of the memes about her Baftas rap (Getty Images)

Ariana DeBose has broken her silence after she was mocked by Bafta viewers for her opening number at Sunday’s awards.

The star — who won Best Supporting Actress last year for her role in West Side Story — performed a rendition of Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves that featured a rap in which she dropped the names of several nominees, including Ana De Armas, Cate Blanchett and Viola Davis.

Her performance didn’t appear to land well though among the audience at the Royal Festival Hall, as the nominees appeared to react awkwardly when the camera panned on them.

The filmed reactions led fans to mock DeBose for her performance, particularly her delivery of the line, ‘Angela Bassett did the thing’, on social media, which led her to deactivate her Twitter account.

Despite the relentess mocking online, the Oscar-winner proved she was in on the joke as she commented under writer and pop culture commentator Evan Ross Katz’ Instagram meme post.

Under the carousel post which showcased a collection of memes poking fun at the now viral moment, she wrote: “Honestly I love this.”

Following her performance on Sunday, viewers flocked to Twitter to wade in on her rap, with one tweeting: “I feel bad that it flopped.”

Another added: “I fear I’m going to be quoting Ariana DeBose’s dreadful Baftas rap until my deathbed”.

Following the criticism, Bafta producer Nick Bullen has come out in defence of DeBose.

Bullen said that the comments made towards the actress have been “incredibly unfair”, and that the performance should be recognised as one celebrating “a woman of colour who is at the absolute top of her game”.

He told Variety: “I think a lot of people don’t like change, and there’s a view that the Bafta have to be this slightly stiff, traditional British, middle-England messaging.

“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.”