Producer of the BAFTA Awards Nick Bullen has defended Oscar winner Ariana DeBose after her performance during the ceremony on Sunday sparked extensive internet trolling.
To be really honest, I believe it’s very unjust, Bullen said to Variety in an interview. “I adored it to the fullest. Everyone who was present who I have spoken to thought it was fantastic. She is a major star and was incredible.
After emcee Richard E. Grant’s opening monologue, the West Side Story actor entered the stage accompanied by backup dancers. She performed the songs “We Are Family” and “Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves” before transitioning into a rap honoring the female candidates.
DeBose rapped, “Angela Bassett did the right thing, Viola Davis is my Woman King, Blanchett Cate is brilliant, and Jamie Lee is us all. The video quickly went viral.
It’s been a tremendous year for women in film, and we wanted to honor that, according to Bullen, who explained the reason behind the middle rap segment that mentioned the women there.
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) February 19, 2023
And here we have a lady of color who is at the pinnacle of her profession. Also, she is kicking off the BAFTAs with a song that is so powerful on so many levels.
The performance—and the rap in particular—has been heavily meme-ified, and the term “Angela Bassett did the thing” is still popular on social media. Although many made fun of the strange lyrics, not everyone’s reaction was unfavorable. Some people have acknowledged it as a top-tier camp.
DeBose Deactivated Her Twitter Following Her BAFTA Performance
DeBose closed her Twitter account after her BAFTA performance. She did, however, comment on one of the Instagram memes that read, “Sure granny let’s get you to bed.” In the comments, DeBose stated, “Honestly, I love this.
Bullen responded, “She just had a few weeks to put this whole thing together. She created the rap lyrics. She collaborated with a talented choreographer and musical director. It was therefore a truly collaborative effort. She was surrounded by an incredible crew, and together with them, they put everything together.
Bullen reiterated his comments in reaction to the feedback, saying, “I believe a lot of people don’t like change, and there’s a sense that the BAFTAs have to be this rather stiff, classic British, middle-England messaging.
Yet, American award presentations have a lot more razzmatazz, showbiz, and perhaps a wider spectrum of participants. We believed that our focus is on progress rather than revolution.