Ariana DeBose Deactivates Twitter Account After Viral BAFTAs Rap

Ariana DeBose was the surprise star after the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday when she performed a rap tribute to the show's nominees. Although the stars in the audience at Royal Festival Hall looked really into it, viewers at home found the performance cringe-worthy. The criticism led to DeBose deleting her Twitter page, although she made coy references to the response on Instagram.

After host Richard E. Grant opened the show with a monologue, DeBose performed "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" and "We Are Family." She then transitioned into a new rap about the show's nominees. One line many found particularly cheesy — especially given the delivery — was "Angela Bassett did the thing," referring to the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever nominee.

The closest DeBose has come to responding to criticism was an Instagram comment. "Honestly I love this," she wrote in response to a gallery of memes using her "Angela Bassett did the thing" line. The West Side Story star also posted an inspirational quote in her Instagram Story, reports Page Six. "Babygirl [sic], in a world full of choices, choose yourself," the quote reads.

BAFTAs producer Nike Bullen thought the criticism of DeBose was 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, the CEO of production company Spun Gold, told Variety.

"I think a lot of people don't like change, and there's a view that the BAFTAs have to be this slightly stiff, traditional British, middle-England messaging," Bullen continued. "But American awards shows have much more razzmatazz, much more showbiz, and perhaps a broader range of people being involved. We felt we're not about revolution, we're about evolution."

DeBose's performance wasn't the only odd moment of the night. Carey Mulligan (She Said) was announced the winner for Best Supporting Actress when Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) was the real winner. CODA star Troy Kotsur announced the winner in American Sign Language, while another person onstage was signing in British Sign Language. A third person was translating sign language to speech, which led to a "very unfortunate translation issue," Bullen said.

"Somewhere in the signing translation, pardon the pun, something was lost in translation, which was incredibly unfortunate. But I thought Carey Mulligan was incredibly gracious and handled it brilliantly," Bullen told Variety. "She understood it was one of those very unfortunate moments that no one could have predicted."