Jamie Lee Curtis is once again defending Ariana DeBose, this time due to a joke made at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards at the expense of the “West Side Story” Oscar winner. “The Last of Us” star Bella Ramsey and Anthony Ramos presented the Critics Choice Award in the best song category and noted how the nominees were split between songs “delivered by some of the most famous voices in the music industry” (Billie Eilish, Lenny Kravitz and Dua Lipa) and “actors who also think that they are singers” (Jack Black, Ariana DeBose and Ryan Gosling).
When the camera cut to DeBose, she did not seem all too pleased that she was lumped into the “actors who also think that they are singers” category. Not only is DeBose a Broadway veteran and a Tony Award nominee, but the performer also won the Oscar for best supporting actress thanks to her singing and dancing-heavy role in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.” DeBose took to Instagram after the show to write: “No I didn’t find it funny. Lol.”
Many viewers and DeBose’s legion of fans found the joke tasteless given DeBose’s resume as a singer. Ramsey was simply reading off a teleprompter, so the blame was more directed towards the Critics Choice Awards writers. Some viewers were also puzzled that Ramos was present at the time of the joke considering he worked with DeBose on Broadway in “Hamilton.”
Jamie Lee Curtis defended DeBose with a post on Instagram in which a clip of Ramsey making the joke was followed by footage of DeBose belting out various songs, more than proving DeBose is a bonafide singer.
“Are you fucking kidding me!” Curtis wrote in the caption. “Ariana DeBose is a queen. #backthefuckoff #shutthefuckup.”
This is not the first time Curtis has come to DeBose’s defense. DeBose generated a viral social media moment after hosting the 2023 BAFTA Film Awards, in which her monologue included a divisive rap about the female nominees (“Angela Basset did the thing” went particularly viral).
“I’m unclear as to what the fuck people are on about. To me it was joyous, celebratory, sisterly, hot, spicy… and she’s just so incredibly talented,” Curtis said to DeBose’s critics at the time. “By the time it got to me, I was into the music and I was having a great time. She’s a fantastic talent, these people should shut the fuck up, back the fuck off, and let this woman just shine her light. Because she is fantastic.”
See Curtis’ full post in defense of DeBose below.