Angela Bassett did the thing. The actress sent a DM to Ariana DeBose to make sure she was OK after the loud criticism her BAFTA Awards opening musical medley received last weekend.
“I DMed her last night,” Bassett told Variety on the red carpet of the NAACP Image Awards Saturday night (Feb. 25). “I did. It was beautiful, it was beautiful, it was beautiful. I just wanted to make sure she was OK because it’s a lot of attention, and she is A-OK.”
DeBose — who won the BAFTA supporting actress award last year for West Side Story — returned to the awards ceremony this year to open the show on Feb. 19 with a rap performance inspired by this year’s female nominees, including Bassett, who was the subject of perhaps the most talked-about lyric.
“That was the assignment. Like, ‘Come celebrate women,’ and I was like, ‘Absolutely!’ We did that and it was fun. Not gonna lie, I had a blast,” DeBose told BBC Radio 2’s The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.
But before DeBose spoke out about it, she had been barraged with snarky criticism and memes of her performance, which led to deactivating her Twitter account.
BAFTAs producer Nick Bullen also came to DeBose’s defense, noting, “I think it’s incredibly unfair, to be frank. I absolutely loved it. Everybody I’ve spoken to who was in the room absolutely loved it. She’s a huge star, she was amazing.”
Watch the clip of Bassett talking about DeBose on the red carpet below.