Ariana DeBose slams Critics Choice Awards joke about her singing abilities

Academy Award-winning actor Ariana DeBose appeared visibly insulted by a joke made about her singing abilities during the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday night.

“The Last of Us” actor Bella Ramsey joked onstage that DeBose, Ryan Gosling and Jack Black are “actors that think they are singers,” prompting DeBose to furrow her brows as a camera caught her reaction during the broadcast.

DeBose, who has starred in Broadway musicals, including “Hamilton,” hit back at the joke on Instagram later that night.

“No I didn’t find it funny. Lol,” she told her more than 700,000 followers.


Ramsey made the joke in the lead-up to the announcement that Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken,” from the “Barbie” movie, had won the Critics Choice Award for “Best Original Song.”

A spokesperson for the Critics Choice Association said the joke was scripted for Ramsey and would not comment further.

Ramsey’s management team could not be reached for comment.

The joke may have been referring to DeBose’s performance at the British Academy of Film and Television Art Awards last February, when she performed a freestyle rap about the female nominees at the event.

The rap went viral, receiving both criticism and praise from netizens. A user on X called the rap “simultaneously awful and amazing.” DeBose appeared to deactivate her X account after the awards show.

Screenwriter Cinco Paul, who worked with DeBose on the musical comedy series “Schmigadoon!,” took to X to call the joke “so wrong it’s embarrassing.”

Paul, who also wrote screenplays for “Despicable Me,” “Horton Hears a Who” and “The Lorax,” shared a clip of DeBose belting out a song on Season 2 of “Schmigadoon!” as “Exhibit A” of her singing prowess.

DeBose was the first Afro Latina actor nominated at the Academy Awards for her performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s version of the musical “West Side Story,” an award she would win.

She was also the first openly queer woman of color to win the best supporting actress Oscar.

DeBose’s management team could not be reached for comment.