Ariana DeBose Addresses Viral BAFTAs Performance: ‘Apparently, Gay Twitter Seemed to Like It?’

"Not gonna lie, I had a blast," the Oscar winner told Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2 of her iconic musical number, which strongly divided opinions.

Ariana DeBose Addresses Viral BAFTAs Performance: ‘Apparently, Gay Twitter Seemed to Like It?’
Photo:Getty (Getty Images)

Ariana DeBose knows she was widely mocked for her musical rap number at the BAFTA’s last weekend—so much so that she deleted her Twitter account afterward—but at least now she also knows that she gained quite a fan club with her line, “Angela Bassett did the thing.”

She told Zoe Ball on her BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show Saturday morning that she “had a blast” doing the performance, and that some audience members like Baz Luhrmann came up to her after and praised it as being “fun.”

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

DeBose said that she simply understood the BAFTAs assignment, which was to be a “woman singing and dancing, being magnificent celebrating women,” and that’s exactly what she did.

“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.”

DeBose, the first openly queer actor of color to win an Oscar, certainly did pick up a big fan club on Twitter who found the performance more camp than cringe, despite the legions of haters.

And that one Angela Bassett line, delivered with such attitude and verve, has become so instantly iconic that Lizzo did an impression of it at her show in Amsterdam, and Halle Berry made it the theme of this year’s Black History Month.

DeBose, ever the good sport and very much in on the joke, proudly reshared the Lizzo video on Instagram. “The internet is wild y’all,” DeBose captioned the post with a head-exploding emoji. “Appreciate all the love.”

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