Ariana DeBose Pokes Fun at Her Viral Rap at SAG Awards 2023

During her first public appearance since going viral for rapping at the 2023 BAFTA Film Awards, Ariana DeBose owned the night by making a joke about the performance at the 2023 SAG Awards.

By Gabrielle Chung, Kelly Gilmore Feb 27, 2023 2:58 AMTags
Watch: Best SAG Awards Red Carpet Looks of ALL TIME

Ariana DeBose is the woman king of owning her musical number.

The actress, who recently went viral for rapping about a few of the female nominees during a performance at the 2023 BAFTA Film Awards, poked fun at the musical moment while taking the stage with her fellow presenter Diego Luna at the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Feb. 26. 

After praising the "remarkable work" given by those nominated in the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series category, Ariana quipped as she shimmied her shoulders, "Diego, do the thing."

The callback drew a laugh from stars in the crowd, including Angela Bassett—who was previously mentioned in Ariana's rap. Jennifer Coolidge was then announced as the winner for her performance in The White Lotus, beating out The Crown's Elizabeth Debicki, Euphoria's Zendaya and Ozark's Julia Garner and Laura Linney. (See all the 2023 SAG Award winners here.)

2023 SAG Award Nominations: Stars React

The ceremony marks Ariana's first appearance since performing her rhymes at the BAFTAs on Feb. 19. Her rap featured the lyrics, "Angela Bassett did the thing / Viola Davis, my Woman King / Blanchett, Cate— you're a genius / Jamie Lee, you are all of us."

While the tune received praise, it was also met by criticism from some social media users. In response to the negativity, one of the awards show's producer's spoke out in defense of the West Side Story actress. 

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

"I think it's incredibly unfair, to be frank," BAFTA producer Nick Bullen told Variety Feb. 20. "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."

As for why the producer believes the performance was faced with such negativity? He chalked it up to people's views of what the BAFTAS should be.

"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," he told the outlet. "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." 

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Nick isn't the only one to have spoken out since Ariana took the stage. A few days later, Ariana herself addressed the matter, noting she wanted to celebrate women with her performance. 

"That's what I wanted to do," DeBose said on BBC Radio 2's The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, as seen in an excerpt released on TikTok Feb. 25. "It's not like I was like, 'Hey BAFTA, let me in!' They actually called me, believe it or not. That was the assignment, like, 'Come celebrate women.' I was like, 'Absolutely!' And we did that, and it was fun." 

Reflecting on her time overall the BAFTAs, Ariana said, "Not gonna lie. I had a blast."

After seeing her own the night with some comedy, it's clear the SAG Awards will be no different for Ariana. Keep scrolling to see more stars at the 2023 SAG Awards.

Angela Bassett

In Giambattista Valli Couture with De Beers jewelry and Sarah Flint shoes

Jessica Chastain

In Zuhair Murad

Jenna Ortega

In Atelier Versace with Tiffany & Co. jewelry

Ariana DeBose

In Prabal Gurung with Melinda Maria and Effy jewelry

Viola Davis

In Valentino

Emily Blunt

In Oscar de la Renta with Bvlgari jewelry


In Valentino with Bvlgari jewelry 

Hannah Einbinder

In Staud with De Beers jewelry

Jennifer Coolidge

In Saint Laurent

Paul Mescal

In Simone Rocha with Paul Smith boots

Amy Poehler

In Roland Mouret

Sarah Burns

Taron Egerton

In Giorgio Armani

Cate Blanchett

In Armani Privé

Seth Rogen & Lauren Miller

Seth in Fendi; Lauren in Emilia Wickstead

Jeremy Allen White

In Louis Vuitton with Vacheron Constantin jewelry 

Colin Farrell

In Dolce & Gabbana

Keeley Karsten

In Tarik Ediz 

Kerry Condon

In Louis Vuitton

Michelle Yeoh

In Schiaparelli Couture with Moussaieff jewelry 

Claire Foy

In Prada

Christina Applegate & Sadie Grace LeNoble

Christina in Christian Siriano 

Eugene Levy

Aubrey Plaza

In Michael Kors with Mouawad jewelry 

Jackie & Adam Sandler

Ana de Armas

In Louis Vuitton

Rooney Mara

In Alexander McQueen

Jason Bateman & Amanda Anka

Jason in Dolce & Gabbana 

Brendan Fraser


Jessie Buckley

In Christian Dior Couture with Fernando Jorge jewelry 

View More Photos From SAG Awards 2023: Red Carpet Fashion
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