Angela Bassett Says She Talked to Ariana DeBose After Her Viral Rap at BAFTAs


At the BAFTA Film Awards, both Ariana DeBose and Angela Bassett went viral after the former named checked the latter in her rap at the ceremony. The performance was widely panned for various reasons, but Bassett clearly thought the response was overkill. She said she reached out to DeBose, concerned all the internet attention might be getting to her in a negative way.

At the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday night, Bassett told Variety senior entertainment writer Angelique Jackson, “I DM’d her last night. I did. It was beautiful… I just wanted to make sure she was okay because, you know, it’s a lot of attention. And she is A-Okay.”

DeBose is an award-winning actor and performer who took home a BAFTA and Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2022 for her performance in West Side Story. Her number at the BAFTAs this year was a tribute to the night’s nominees and it garnered quite a lot of attention, especially the line, “Angela Bassett did the thing.”

DeBose ended up deleting her official Twitter account afterwards, but seems to be upbeat about the situation overall. On Saturday morning, she posted to Instagram, sharing a clip of Lizzo imitating her line on stage with the words, “The internet is wild y’all! Appreciate all the love.”

That same morning, DeBose told Zoe Ball on her BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show that she “had a blast” at the BAFTAs and Baz Luhrmann told her afterwards that it was “fun.”

“That’s a win, you guys,” DeBose added. “And apparently, gay Twitter seemed to like it? So that’s good, I’ll take it. I told you, my people.”

DeBose said her performance was in line with what BAFTAs asked of her for the show.

“Honestly, it’s not like I’m like, ‘Hey BAFTA, let me in!’ They actually called me, believe it or not,” DeBose said. “But that was the assignment. Like, ‘Come celebrate women,’ and I was like, ‘Absolutely!’ We did that and it was fun. Not gonna lie, I had a blast.”

Headshot of Aimée Lutkin

Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.

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