The 2023 BAFTAs took place on Feb. 19 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. West Side Story star Ariana DeBose hosted the magical evening and treated us to a musical performance of a cover of Eurythmics’ “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” and Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family." But just as audiences thought she was winding down, she surprised them with an original rap she wrote.
The rap's lyrics praised the female nominees of the night, but as the cameras zoomed in on the audience, there were some confused looks. Here's why.
Ariana DeBose's lyric "Angela Bassett did the thing" becomes the subject of many tweets and memes.
During Ariana's opening monologue at the BAFTAs, she performed an original rap song that shed a light on female nominees.
“Angela Basset did the thing / Viola Davis, my Woman King / Blanchett, Cate, you’re a genius / And Jamie Lee, you are all of us," the Schmigadoon! star hollered while performing.
She also mentioned Michelle Yeoh, Dolly De Leon, and Carey Mulligan in her song. But unfortunately, her performance wasn't well-received.
"I still can’t get over how awful Ariana DeBose was," read a tweet sent out during the show. In fact, the Twitterverse was spiraling with contempt for her rap.
Not only did Twitter users grade her on her rap, but they also picked on her for being visibly out of breath during the performance.
According to Ariana DeBose, Angela Bassett "did the thing."
But amongst all the names mentioned in the rap, it became clear that one line really stuck with fans. "Angela Bassett did the thing" became the subject of countless tweets.
While there were some positive comments about Ariana's act, it seemed that the Westworld star had taken the criticism to heart. Ariana deactivated her Twitter account the next day.
Fans in awe of her performance continued to speak highly of her.
Ariana DeBose has finally broken her silence on her BAFTA performance ... kind of.
Although Ariana went dark on Twitter, where the bulk of the rude comments about her lived, she is still active on Instagram. While she didn't use her account to directly discuss her performance, she did indirectly let fans know that she was feeling better.
Writer and podcast host Evan Ross Katz shared a carousel of memes on the platform that gently teased the now iconic line: “Angela Basset did the thing."
To many fans' surprise, Ariana liked the post and left the comment: "Honestly I love this."
For her admirers, this was a sign that she was feeling better and maybe even nearing the point where she could look back at the night and laugh.
"Ariana DeBose needs to reactivate Twitter and seize this moment," wrote a fan on Twitter. "She will have stans for LIFE after serving that level of camp to us on a platter."