When Black Panther actress Angela Bassett said she "did the thing" at the NAACP Image Awards, the audience erupted in applause, bringing the bizarre viral moment to a fittingly triumphant close.
It all started a week ago (was it really only a week ago?) when Bassett was mentioned by Ariana DeBose, a fellow American actress, in a rap at the Bafta Awards honoring female nominees.
". Viola Davis, my Woman King / Blanchett, Cate, you're a genius, and Jamie Lee, you are all of us, did the right thing, as did Angela Bassett! ".
Opinions differed on DeBose's song. It was deemed embarrassing by critics. They singled out the Angela Bassett song and the accompanying shoulder-shimmy as being especially painful.
During the backlash, DeBose deleted her Twitter account. Next, there was a backlash against the backlash.
Fans defended the line as charming, humorous, and kitsch, and a host of well-known figures, including Adele, Lizzo, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Bassett herself, rallied to DeBose's side.
All of this helped the phrase and the performance become instantly famous.
What was "the thing," with whom did she do it, and how frequently?
Presumably, it was intended to make a reference to Bassett's stirring portrayal of Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Nevertheless, the lyric is so nebulous as to seem enticingly random, and social media has delighted in how it can be endlessly customized for any individual and any circumstance.
The original footage had mesmerized Raven Smith, who writes for Vogue magazine, in a recent article.
He wrote, "I physically can't stop watching.". "Now that the initial shock and intrigue have passed, I'm past the enjoyment stage and into morbid fascination, rubbernecking the awkward audience reactions and dissecting the intricate hand-ography. ".
We should all consider ourselves fortunate to have witnessed the most famous and moving rendition of Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves, which was followed by a rap sung by all-time great female Bafta nominees, he continued.
"I feel as though we lived through history. This is the Waterloo for us. ".
Stuart Heritage of The Guardian wasn't as impressed, calling the performance "gormless," "deeply and unsettlingly confusing," and "one of the all-time great berserk musical performances ever seen.".
He did concur, however, on its long-term effects. He predicted that "oral histories about Angela Bassett Did the Thing" would be written in the future. It will be the subject of movies. ".
As the week progressed, "the thing's" fame increased steadily, quickly evolving into the best and newest meme on the internet.
By the weekend, a gay nightclub's dance floor in London's Limehouse was playing a remix of the rap.
DeBose also reposted videos of Adele and Lizzo using her catchphrase during their performances, showing that she was now accepting of the response.
I definitely don't have anything to catch you up on with regards to my week, Adele told her Las Vegas audience. However, we did discover that Angela Bassett was responsible.
"I do, however, adore Ariana. ".
"The internet is wild y'all, appreciate all the love," DeBose retorted. ".
Then, at the NAACP Awards on Saturday night, Bassett repeated the line to thunderous applause.
She accepted the award for entertainer of the year and exclaimed, "I guess Angela Bassett did the thing!" with an accompanying shoulder wiggle.
1.7 million people have watched the video in one tweet so far. 'Angela Bassett did the thing' finally comes full circle! Angela is hilarious, according to the post that goes along with it.
In addition, Bassett won best actress in a drama series for her work in the TV show 9-1-1 and best supporting actress in a film for her part in the Black Panther sequel on the same night.
The day after, DeBose made reference to the widely publicized occasion when she and Diego Luna, a Star Wars actor, presented a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award.
To more cheers, DeBose urged Luna to present the nominees, saying, "Diego, do the thing.".
Zoe Ball, a DJ for BBC Radio 2, told DeBose in an interview on Monday that her Bafta performance was well-received by her listeners. .
The Oscar-winning actress retorted, "You know what, you might be one of the few. You're my people, so I'll accept it. ".
It's not like I said, 'Hey Bafta, let me in,' she continued. You won't believe this, but they actually called me.
"Come celebrate women; that was the assignment. Then I said, "Absolutely.". And we did that; it was enjoyable. I'm not lying. I loved it. ".
She continued, "And apparently gay Twitter likes it. Which is good. ".
On the red carpet on Saturday, Bassett herself gave the routine the thumbs up, telling Variety that she had texted DeBose to see how she was doing after all the commotion.
Her response was, "I DM'd her last night.". "It (the performance) was lovely. Because, you know, it gets a lot of attention, I just wanted to make sure she was okay. She's fine, too. ".
DeBose's rap refers to Jamie Lee Curtis as "all of us," so she was quick to dismiss the critics of the celebrity.
She told Deadline that DeBose was "a fantastic talent" at the SAG Awards and sternly commanded her detractors to "shut the [expletive] up" and "back the [expletive] off.".
She's just so incredibly talented, and for me it was joyful, celebratory, sisterly, hot, and spicy, said Curtis.