Hollywood actress Ariana DeBose was ruthlessly mocked over her viral British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) rap performance, which many social media users described as “cringe.”
The performance saw DeBose, with short, dyed hair and a pink romper, erratically dance across the room and rhyme about some of the prominent female actresses seated in the audience.
In one lyric, DeBose belted out, “Blanchett, Cate, you’re a genius, Jamie Lee, you are all of us.”
However, one portion of the rhyme stuck out to the audience, with the actress using a staggered vocal inflection to sing, “Angela Bassett did The Thing, Viola Davis—my Woman King.”
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Behind DeBose, Davis herself could be seen as one of the few audience members bopping along to the song’s beat.
The rap was part of a larger musical performance, complete with choreographed dance moves and several different musical numbers.
“I’m just never gonna get ‘Angela Bassett, did the thing’ out of my head now,” Daily Beast Media Reporter Justin Baragona tweeted.
Twitter users did not hold back as they poked fun at the performance, awarding the “West Side Story” actress memes and mockery.
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Letterboxd Senior Editor and podcast host Mitchell Beaupre said he avoided watching the performance because of his “viscerally uncomfortable reaction to cringe.” However, he eventually gave in to the temptation and said he would “need the day to recover.
“I’ve never gotten secondhand embarrassment like this before, it took me 5 attempts to watch it in full,” film critic Kang’s Kween tweeted.
In a satirical news report, user @jasonosia wrote, “BREAKING: The Academy is reportedly looking into rescinding Ariana DeBose’s Supporting Actress Oscar for West Side Story after witnessing this performance. The issue will also likely be raised at the board of governors meeting this Tuesday.”
Another Twitter user, @paulswhtn, joked that DeBose was singing as if she was being chased around the city by Ghostface for two hours, noting that it was “great crossover promotion” for the new “Scream” film.
The flurry of less-than-flattering tweets appeared to have drawn the attention of DeBose herself, who deleted her account sometime after BAFTA posted the clip of her performance on their Twitter page.
Following the viral pile-on, BAFTA executive producer Nick Bullen defended DeBose, calling the response to her performance “incredibly unfair.”
“Everybody … who was in the room absolutely loved I,” Bullen told Variety.