Angela Bassett Messaged Ariana DeBose After Viral BAFTAs Rap: ‘I Just Wanted to Make Sure She Was Okay’

Angela Bassett has simply done the thing once again. After being name-dropped by Ariana DeBose in a rap that opened the BAFTA Film Awards, the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star tells Variety that she reached out to DeBose in the aftermath to check in on her.

“I DM’d her last night. I did. It was beautiful,” Bassett told Variety senior entertainment writer Angelique Jackson on the red carpet at the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday evening. “I just wanted to make sure she was okay because, you know, it’s a lot of attention. And she is A-Okay.”

Bassett’s mention was one of the catchier lyrics in DeBose’s opener. DeBose, who won last year’s BAFTA and Academy Award for best supporting actress for her performance in “West Side Story,” kicked off the British Academy Film Awards on Feb. 19 with a rap that name-dropped several of the evening’s nominees, including directors honored in debut feature and women competing in both the lead actress and supporting actress categories. The production also featured renditions of “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” and “We Are Family.”

The number took on a life of its own on social media in the following days, drawing both derisive commentary and perverse but full-hearted commendations, among a wide range of responses.

DeBose’s official Twitter account has been deactivated since the event. However, the actor acknowledged the situation with a post on Instagram on Saturday morning: “The internet is wild y’all! Appreciate all the love.”

In an interview with Variety, BAFTAs awards producer Nick Bullen called criticism of DeBose’s performance “incredibly unfair” and detailed the musical direction and choreography that went into the number: “Everybody I’ve spoken to who was in the room absolutely loved it.”

Bassett is nominated for the entertainer of the year award at the NAACP Image Awards. During a virtual ceremony earlier this week, she was honored with the body’s award for best supporting actress in a motion picture for her performance in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

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