BAFTAs producer defends Ariana DeBose’s viral rap

An govt producer of this 12 months’s British Academy Film Awards has defended Ariana DeBose after a video of the “West Side Story” star performing on the ceremony went viral on social media.

In an interview with Variety revealed Monday, producer Nick Bullen deemed any mockery of DeBose’s now-infamous BAFTAs rap “incredibly unfair” and declared that “everybody … who was in the room absolutely loved it.” The 76th BAFTAs came about Sunday on the Royal Festival Hall in London.

After BAFTAs host Richard E. Grant delivered his opening monologue, DeBose and her backup dancers launched right into a crowd-pleasing medley of “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” and “We Are Family” — together with a rap interlude spotlighting the feminine nominees that has been concurrently mocked and championed on Twitter.

“She’s a huge star, she was amazing,” Bullen informed Variety.

“The songs she was singing are very familiar songs, the room was clapping, and people were sort of dancing to the music. That rap section in the middle, mentioning the women in the room, was because it’s been a great year for women in film, and we wanted to celebrate that.”

In a widely circulated clip of the efficiency, DeBose raps, “Hong Chau, Dolly D, Kerry and Carey with a C. Dame Emma, I’m so fond. Ana, girl, you were great in ‘Blonde.’ Danielle D, you broke my heart. Michelle, I loved you from the start. Angela Bassett did the thing. Viola Davis, my woman king. Blanchett, Cate, you’re a genius. And Jamie Lee, you are all of us.”

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After BAFTA tweeted the video, Twitter customers joked about experiencing excessive “secondhand embarrassment” on DeBose’s behalf and imagined individuals within the viewers “praying that she won’t say their name next.” Representatives for DeBose — who deactivated her Twitter account shortly after the BAFTAs aired — didn’t instantly reply Tuesday to The Times’ request for remark.

Despite the ridicule, loads of Twitter customers couldn’t get sufficient of DeBose’s efficiency, which has already begun to build up a cult following.

“Helpppp I can’t get this banger out of my head,” tweeted @MissTashh_. “I’m going insane with the extreme levels of camp. (I’m going to sue BAFTA for emotional distress).”

“Ariana DeBose’s rap at BAFTA is simultaneously awful and amazing,” tweeted @mrbrianrowe. “Like, I can’t stop watching it.”

“my twitter feed is an echochamber of the small but loud community of ~two dozen people whose lives have been fundamentally changed by Ariana DeBose’s BAFTAs rap,” tweeted @catrcardenas.

During his Variety Q&A, Bullen confirmed that DeBose’s showstopping medley was crafted completely by the Oscar-winning actor and her group. He additionally implied that the water-cooler second was all the time supposed to go viral, noting that “social media presence was incredibly important to us.”

“We want to engage all audiences,” Bullen stated.

“We don’t want to just go for the traditional British award ceremony audience. … The messaging to younger people was important to us. The messaging to the diverse groups around Britain was important to us. We wanted to get the message out there that this is a show for everybody.”

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Ultimately, Bullen blamed individuals who “don’t like change” for roasting DeBose on social media.

“There’s a view that the BAFTAs have to be this slightly stiff, traditional British, middle-England messaging,” he stated.

“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. Let’s just evolve, let’s just move forward with some gentle changes that start to lay out the stall of what this show should be and where we should be with it.”

See extra reactions to DeBose’s buzzy BAFTAs rap beneath.