Why Did Ariana DeBose Go Viral on Twitter Last Week?

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Last week, actress Ariana DeBose went viral on Twitter for a rap performance she gave at the BAFTAs. The reactions to this have been mixed, but DeBose has taken it in stride and gained some recognition because of it. Why exactly did she go viral? Read on below to find out.

Who is Ariana DeBose?

Ariana DeBose is an actress and singer who has starred in various stage and screen productions across Broadway and Hollywood. DeBose is best known for her role as Anita in Stephen Spielberg’s 2021 production of West Side Story. She has also performed in Hamilton, Motown: The Musical, Pippin, and more on Broadway.

BAFTAs rap

The buzz around Ariana DeBose started at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award show (BAFTAs) on February 19th. DeBose performed a medley of songs, as well as an original rap highlighting some of the iconic female actresses in attendance and receiving awards and nominations.

In one of her rhymes, DeBose shouted out Viola Davis as her “Woman King” and said “Angela Bassett did the thing.” Her performance went viral on social media and received mixed reactions from her fans and others. Some praised her for her talent and confidence, while others criticized her and found her rap cringy and awkward.

The internet meme

After the BAFTAs, “did the thing” quickly went viral on Twitter as well as other social media platforms. Memes about the event spread rapidly, as well as many different reactions to DeBose’s performance. DeBose briefly deactivated her Twitter account due to some of the negative backlash. Some users disagreed with this decision, saying that she should instead just lean into the media attention and maybe even release “did the thing” as a sound on TikTok.

DeBose’s response

While some of the response to DeBose’s performance was just lighthearted joking, there was some serious criticism. DeBose seemed to handle the whole thing well, however, and joked about her rap at the SAG Awards, where she won an award for best supporting actress for playing Anita in West Side Story, becoming the first Latina and queer woman of color to win a film award from the guild.

Angela Bassett at the NAACP

At the NAACP awards, DeBose and her performance received support from Angela Bassett herself. Angela Bassett has had a big last year or two, and some of her big roles won her Entertainer of the Year at the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday. She also won two other awards for her roles in 9-1-1 and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

In her award speech, Bassett thanked her fans, family, and colleagues for their support and praised her fellow nominees for their achievements. She also addressed Ariana DeBose’s viral rap line at the BAFTAs. She said she direct-messaged DeBose to make sure she was okay after the backlash. In good sportsmanship, she showed her support for DeBose and her good sense of humor by saying “I guess Angela Bassett did the thing!”

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