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Ariana DeBose unhappy with 'not funny' Critics Choice joke about her singing credentials

Ariana deBose at the Critics Choice Awards 2024 (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Ariana deBose at the Critics Choice Awards 2024 (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Ariana DeBose has hit out at a joke about her being an “actor who thinks they are a singer” at the Critics Choice Awards.

DeBose was nominated for Best Original Song for track This Wish from movie Wish at the ceremony, which took place in Santa Barbara on Sunday.

Other nominees in the category included Dance the Night from Barbie, sung by Dua Lipa, What Was I Made For also from Barbie by Billie Eilish, I'm Just Ken, also from Barbie sung by Ryan Gosling, Peaches from The Super Mario Bros. Movie by Jack Black and Road to Freedom from Rustin by Lenny Kravitz.

British The Last of Us actor Bella Ramsey, who is non-binary, presented the award - and said its nominees included some big name music stars.

Ramsey then joked: “Then there are the actors who think they're singers: Jack Black, Ariana DeBose, and Ken himself, Ryan Gosling.”

DeBose, who won an Oscar for her role in Steven Spielberg's musical West Side Story, didn’t look pleased with the jibe - and instead looked frostily at the camera as it panned towards her.

She later took to Instagram to hit out at the joke, writing on her Stories: “No I didn’t it funny. Lol.”

Fans of DeBose backed her online.

One user said: “The writers for @CriticsChoice missed the mark with their comment about 'actors who think they're singers' and including Ariana DeBose as part of that list. The woman starred in Broadway musicals - she's a trained singer.”

Another condemned the way they 'insulted Ariana DeBose' for calling her an 'actress who thinks she can sing.'

“I'm sorry, you said that about someone from the OG cast of Hamilton? Google someone before you approve the joke omg,” one fan added.

Some pointed out it was unlikely to have been Ramsay who came up with the joke and instead was the fault of the show's writers.

Elsewhere, Irish star Barry Keoghan was a good sport after his jaw-dropping naked scene in Saltburn was the topic of host Chelsea Handler’s opening monologue.

The Irish actor, 31, has won plaudits for his role as Oliver Quick in the explicit Emerald Fennell movie.

The movie has several sexually explicit and outrageous scenes - and in the final moments, the star dances naked to Sophie Ellis Bexter’s iconic track Murder on the Dance Floor.

The scene was tackled by Handler during her opening gambit at the ceremony.

Watching from the audience, Keoghan, who sadly wasn’t nominated for supporting actor, took Handler’s jokes on the chin.

Handler said: “And now, it's time to talk about the horniest movie of the year Saltburn' as the camera panned to Keoghan.

“There he is. Barry Keoghan was horny for men, women, bath water, and cemeteries.

“Featuring men in various states of undress. Most male actors use prosthetics, so thank you, Barry, for keeping it real, and please thank your penis for its service.”

She also teased Margot Robbie, the producer of the movie who is also the star of Barbie. “By the way, Margot Robbie produced Saltburn, so you're a dirty Barbie, and I like it,” Handler said. “Which means Margot is responsible for not one, but two spirited dance numbers this year.”

Although many other films and their stars provided the biggest moments of the night, it was historical epic Oppenheimer that topped the Critics Choice Awards taking home eight gongs.

The Christopher Nolan epic scored the London-born filmmaker a win for best director, alongside best picture and supporting actor for Robert Downey Jr, while star Cillian Murphy was snubbed in the best actor category which went to The Holdovers star Paul Giamatti.

The 29th ceremony also saw success for Greta Gerwig’s box office hit Barbie, which picked up six awards including best comedy, best original screenplay and best original song for British star Mark Ronson’s I’m Just Ken – sung by Ryan Gosling.

While the TV categories saw Succession, Beef and The Bear dominate in the major awards.