Angela Bassett messaged Ariana DeBose after viral BAFTAs rap

"I just wanted to make sure she was OK," said Bassett, who was namedropped in the song

Angela Bassett has revealed that she privately messaged Ariana DeBose after her viral BAFTAs rap to check on her welfare.

The actor, best known for starring in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, performed an original song at the ceremony earlier this week that name-checked various Best Actress nominees including Bassett, Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh.

“Angela Bassett did the thing, Viola Davis my Woman King, Blanchett Cate you’re a genius, Jamie Lee you are all of us,” sang the West Side Story star as she danced around the stage. After the performance was widely mocked online, DeBose deactivated her Twitter account and BAFTAs awards producer Nick Bullen described the criticism as “incredibly unfair.”


Speaking to Variety at the NAACP Image Awards last night (February 25), Bassett said she checked up on DeBose after the incident and the criticism that followed.

“I DM’d her last night. I did. It was beautiful,” she said. “I just wanted to make sure she was okay because, you know, it’s a lot of attention. And she is A-Okay.”

Ariana DeBose
Ariana DeBose at the 2023 BAFTA Film Awards. CREDIT: Mike Marsland/WireImage

Following the BAFTAs, Lizzo made a playful reference to the viral rap during a concert in Amsterdam this week (February 23).

Last night, Lizzo drew huge cheers as she joked: “Let’s shake it off! Angela Bassett did the thing, shake it off!” before copying DeBose’s shoulder shimmy at a concert at the Ziggo Dome. “Angela Bassett did the thang, Yeah!”

DeBose also broke her silence and responded to various memes that have popped up online following the performance.


On her Instagram account, which has remained active, DeBose has responded to various memes about the performance. In a post which refers to the line “Angela Bassett did the thing”, DeBose commented: “Honestly I love this.”

DeBose also responded to a fan on her Instagram Stories, who wrote “I hope she does the thing” over a picture of her upcoming show at the London Palladium. With a laughing emoji, she shared the post and wrote: “Get tickets & find out.”

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