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Ariana DeBose’s viral BAFTAs rap is a meme now

While some found her performance cringe, others praised it as fun and "campy."
Ariana DeBose performs during the BAFTA Film Awards
Ariana DeBose did the thing.Kate Green / Getty Images for BAFTA

Ariana DeBose "did the thing" during her opening musical number at the British Academy of Film and Television Art Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday and quickly became a meme.

DeBose, who hosted the 76th annual BAFTAs, started the show with a song that celebrated various nominees. A clip of the performance posted by the BAFTAs Twitter account went viral, as users poked fun at the lyrics.

In her song, DeBose introduced the women nominated in the best lead and supporting actress categories, including Dolly De Leon, Carey Mulligan, Michelle Yeoh, Viola Davis, Ana De Armas and others. The actresses appeared to be amused, but not particularly enthused, by the shout-outs, causing some viewers to deem the moment cringey.

"Ariana DeBose’s rap at BAFTA is simultaneously awful and amazing. Like, I can’t stop watching it," one Twitter user said.

"ariana debose you’re an oscar winner you don’t have to do this i promise," another wrote.

DeBose appeared to deactivate her Twitter following the awards show. Representatives for DeBose did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While some criticized DeBose's performance, others praised it as a fun and campy.

Many of her fans said they hope she returns to Twitter.

"It’s sad that Ariana DeBose deactivated her Twitter. I think her performance last night was better than her Anita. 'Angela Bassett did the thing' is now an immortal line. She should be proud!" one person tweeted.

"ariana debose needs to reactivate twitter and seize this moment. she will have stans for LIFE after serving that level of camp to us on a platter," another wrote.

Among the many perfect lines jammed into the rap, Twitter users were especially obsessed with “Angela Bassett did the thing.” That particular quip spawned countless memes.

"Unironically, 'Angela Bassett did the thing' is probably the best distillation of her awards narrative that exists. She did the thing in [Wakanda Forever], and has been doing the thing for decades without proper recognition. So thank you Ariana DeBose," one user said.

In an interview with Variety, BAFTAs producer Nick Bullen called the criticism against DeBose "incredibly unfair."

“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 told Variety.

While DeBose has not issued a statement about the performance, it appears she hasn’t taken the internet’s reactions too personally. Under an Instagram post rounding up some “Angela Bassett did the thing” memes, she wrote: “Honestly I love this.”

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the Oscar-winning actress shared images from at the awards show, writing “Some moments I loved with ppl I love.”