Angela Bassett ‘Did The Thing’ At The NAACP Image Awards

That iconic rap is making headlines again.
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Angela Bassett has referenced that iconic rap when accepting an award at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards.

Bassett was named Entertainer of the Year at the awards ceremony, which took place in California on February 26 and, in her speech, made reference to Angela DeBose’s since-viral performance at last week’s BAFTAs.

“I guess Angela Bassett did the thing,” the actress, who was nominated for her leading role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, joked, while also replicating DeBose’s energetic shoulder moves. 

Angela Bassett on stage at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards. (Credit: Image: Getty)

Less than a week ago, Broadway star DeBose went viral for her high-energy BAFTA-opening performance, which included a rap section that called out several female nominees. 

“Angela Bassett did the thing / Viola Davis, my Woman King / Blanchett, Cate, you’re a genius / And Jamie Lee [Curtis], you are all of us,” she sang.

A series of awkward cutaways to the name-dropped women throughout the broadcast of the performance fed into a host of negative Twitter responses calling the performance ‘cringe’. 

Before accepting last night’s award, Bassett revealed in a red-carpet interview with Variety that she had reached out to DeBose about the wide-spread internet response following the performance.

“I DM’d her last night. I did. It was beautiful,” Bassett said. “I just wanted to make sure she was okay because, you know, it’s a lot of attention. And she is A-Okay.”

HoYeon Jung and Ana De Armas, who also featured in DeBose’s rap, at the BAFTAs after party. (Credit: Image: Getty)

BAFTA showrunner Nick Bullen also spoke to Variety earlier this week, refuting claims that audience members did not enjoy the performance. “The songs she was singing are very familiar songs, the room was clapping, and people were sort of dancing to the music,” Bullen said. “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.”

Cate Blanchett arrives at the 2023 BAFTAs. (Credit: Image: Getty)

In an interview with Zoe Ball on her Radio 2 Breakfast Show, DeBose shared her thoughts on the internet’s response to her viral routine. 

“It’s not like I was like ‘‘Hey Bafta… let me in!’. They actually called me – believe it or not,” she said. 

“But that was the assignment, like come celebrate women, and I was like ‘absolutely!’. And we did that and it was fun, not going to lie, I had a blast. So awesome,” she added.

Ariana DeBose attends Netflix’s annual BAFTA Awards afterparty. (Credit: Image: Getty)

DeBose also took to Instagram in response to the internet’s varied reactions, sharing a carousel of memes made in the days following her performance. The caption reads “The internet is wild y’all! Appreciate all the love.” 

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