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Ariana Debose responds to memes of her iconic BAFTA rap

"Angela Basset did the thing. Viola Davis, my woman king."

By Alastair James

Ariana Debose has responded to memes of her iconic BAFTA performance.
Ariana Debose has responded to memes of her iconic BAFTA performance (Image: Wiki Commons and BBC)

It’s been several days since the BAFTAs and we haven’t been able to get Ariana Debose’s rap out of our heads.

Opening the ceremony on Sunday (19 February) the Oscar-winner sang ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’ and ‘We Are Family’. The 32-year-old added in her own rap where she memorably celebrated the female acting nominees.

Perhaps the section that has spread around the internet the most is when Debose raps: “Angela Basset did the thing. Viola Davis, my woman king.”

As is the way in 2023 it’s been clipped, memed, and spoofed countless times across social media.

“Babe, wake up, Angela Bassett did the thing,” one person wrote on Instagram alongside several memes focusing on Bassett’s mention in the rap.

Responding on Tuesday (21 February) Debose commented: “Honestly I love this”.

Following the backlash aimed at her performance Debose appears to have deactivated her Twitter account.

Speaking to Variety on Monday BAFTA producer Nick Bullen described the negative response as “incredibly unfair.” He added: “I absolutely loved it.”

“That rap section in the middle, mentioning the women in the room, was because it’s been a great year for women in film, and we wanted to celebrate that. And here is a woman of color who is at the absolute top of her game,” Bullen continued.

“We wanted to open the show with some energy, some fun, and also lay out straight away that this was hopefully going to feel like a different night, but with a familiarity as well, and what Ariana did was exactly that,” Bullen explained.

He also commented that “a lot of people don’t like change.” He also compared American award shows as having more “razzmatazz” than the British.

Honestly, we’re loving the rap and we’re loving the memes. No doubt we’ll be singing along for some time yet.