Jamie Lee Curtis has defended Ariana DeBose and her viral BAFTAs rap.
Last weekend, DeBose opened the 2023 BAFTAs by performing an original song that name-checked various Best Actress nominees including Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh.
The performance proved divisive online though, with some people calling it “cringe”. Following the backlash, DeBose deactivated her Twitter account with BAFTAs awards producer Nick Bullen described the criticism as “incredibly unfair.”
“Everybody I’ve spoken to who was in the room absolutely loved it. She’s a huge star, she was amazing,” he added.
Sisters are doing it for themselves! The incredible @ArianaDeBose opens the 2023 #EEBAFTAs with an iconic performance! ✨ pic.twitter.com/G9YgKN2e1t
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) February 19, 2023
Now Jamie Lee Curtis, who was also namechecked during the performance, has defended Ariana DeBose.
Speaking to Deadline about the backlash, Lee Curtis said: “I’m unclear what the fuck people are on about. For me, it was joyous, celebratory, sisterly, hot, spicy and she’s just so incredibly talented.”
She went on to describe how various cameras were right in the faces of the audience watching the performance, which she believes is why some of their reactions have also gone viral. “None of us knew what she was [going to do],” she added.“By the time it got to me, I was into it. I was into the music, I was having a great time.
can't stop watching the cursed DeBose performance. funniest part to me is when they cut to Jamie Lee Curtis and she's absolutely grooving to it pic.twitter.com/mL1hHbrcGW
— mattking1312 (@mattking23) February 20, 2023
Lee Curtis added: [DeBose] is a fantastic talent. These people should shut the fuck up, back the fuck off and let this woman shine her light, because she is fantastic.”
#PGAAwards Jamie Lee Curtis explains the mood inside the room at the BAFTAs during Ariana DeBose's rap: "She's fantastic" pic.twitter.com/B9flGFwi0m
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) February 26, 2023
Earlier this week Angela Bassett revealed that she privately messaged Ariana DeBose after her viral BAFTAs rap to check on her welfare.
“I DM’d her last night. I did. It was beautiful,” said Bassett. “I just wanted to make sure she was okay because, you know, it’s a lot of attention. And she is A-Okay.”
Following the BAFTAs, Lizzo also made a playful reference to the viral rap during a concert in Amsterdam.