Ariana DeBose’s BAFTA performance is defended by the show’s producer
Ariana DeBose was this year's opener at the BAFTA Awards, one of the most prestigious awards shows in the film industry. DeBose kicked off the evening with a song and a rap that celebrated some of this year's performers, including some of the women of color that earned nominations this year.
The opening number has been met with some controversy, particularly in Twitter, where many memes have been shared. The response has inspired one of the show's producer's to come out in her defense.
Ariana DeBose might play Disney's first Afro-Latina princess
Marc Anthony & Ariana DeBose perform together at the Maestro Cares gala
Sisters are doing it for themselves! The incredible @ArianaDeBose opens the 2023 #EEBAFTAs with an iconic performance! ? pic.twitter.com/G9YgKN2e1t
In conversation with Variety, Nick Bullen, producer of the show, defended DeBose and shared that she and her dancers put the whole performance together alongside the choreographer and musical director.
"We wanted to open the show with some energy, some fun, and also lay out straight away that this was hopefully going to feel like a different night, but with a familiarity as well, and what Ariana did was exactly that," said Bullen. He also said that the BAFTA's are viewed as a "stiff" awards show, and that perhaps viewers at home didn't know how to cope with the change.
"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," said Bullen.
DeBose appears to have taken down her Twitter following the social backlash but she acknowledged one of the memes on Instagram. "Honestly, I love this," she wrote. Some Twitter users have already labeled DeBose's performance as "camp", which is great for everyone involved. At the end of the day, the BAFTAs are being discussed and analyzed, which in today's awards show landscape is a big win.