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BAFTAs told to me to ‘celebrate women’

Ariana DeBose says she was told to “celebrate women” at the 2023 BAFTAs amid the backlash she received for her now-viral rap.

“Honestly, it’s not like I’m, like, ‘Hey BAFTA, let me in!’ They actually called me, believe it or not,” the “West Side Story” actress, 32, says in an upcoming interview on the “Zoe Ball Breakfast Show” Monday.

“But that was the assignment. Like, ‘Come celebrate women,’ and I was like, ‘Absolutely!’ We did that and it was fun. Not gonna lie, I had a blast.”

DeBose also says that the whole experience was “so awesome” and she spent the entire night “cutting a rug” with people like Emma Thompson.

“It was fabulous. I had a great time,” she adds.

Ariana DeBose performing at the 2023 BAFTAs.
Ariana DeBose says she was told to “celebrate women” during the 2023 BAFTAs.
Getty Images for BAFTA

Last Sunday, DeBose performed a cover of Eurythmics’ “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” and Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” at the UK awards show.

The Academy Award winner also included her own rap, where she name-dropped all of the female nominees of the BAFTAs that evening.

Ariana DeBose on the red carpet of the BAFTAs.
“It was fabulous. I had a great time,” she also gushes.
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

“Angela Bassett did the thing, Viola Davis my ‘Woman King,’ Blanchett Cate you’re a genius, Jamie Lee you are all of us,” she sang as the camera panned to each star in the venue.

The following day, DeBose’s “cringe” performance was quickly turned into memes and she became the butt of several jokes online.

“Ariana DeBose has reportedly turned down a performance at King Charles III’s coronation. ‘Viola Davis is my woman King,’” one person joked on Twitter.

Ariana DeBose performing at the 2023 BAFTAs.
The “West Side Story” actress became a meme for her viral rap.
Getty Images for BAFTA

“how is a broadway actress running out of breath in just the first number 👽,” added another.

“oh she knew that ‘angela bassett did the thing’ line was going to change the world,” a third fan wrote.

After the criticism mounted, DeBose deleted her Twitter account.

A screenshot of Ariana DeBose's deleted Twitter account.
The actress deleted her Twitter after the backlash mounted.

However, the “Prom” actress seemed to keep her spirits high, sharing a cryptic post on Instagram Tuesday that was apparently aimed at her haters.

The message read, “Babygirl [sic], in a world full of choices, choose yourself.”

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