Jamie Lee Curtis calls out Bella Ramsey’s “unfunny” Critics Choice joke about Ariana DeBose

Jamie Lee Curtis has called out Bella Ramsey for her “unfunny” joke about Ariana DeBose at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards.

Yesterday (January 15), the Oscar award-winner took to Instagram to express her displeasure at a joke the Last Of Us star told about Ariana DeBose during the award ceremony. Ramsey had joked by categorising DeBose – alongside Ryan Gosling and Jack Black – as an actor “who also [thinks] they are [a singer]”. Curtis responded by posting a video which consisted of a snippet of Ramsey’s presentation, before cutting to a compilation of DeBose’s musical theatre work, which involved a lot of singing roles.


Tagging DeBose in the post’s caption, Curtis wrote: “Are you fucking kidding me! Ariana DeBose is a queen!” Curtis also hashtagged “#backthefuckoff” and “#shutthefuckup” at the end of the caption.

However, Curtis’ followers were quick to jump to Ramsey’s aid, reminding Curtis that Ramsey was simply reading the joke, likely written by someone else, off a teleprompter, and that the young actor had not written the joke themselves.

“Ok but please don’t direct the complaints to Bella Ramsey, who was just reading from the teleprompter. The jokes, as Chelsea Handler said, were written by the writers,” one comment reads. Another wrote: “Please make sure you make it VERY clear you are referring to the writer’s and NOT Bella Ramsey. This was NOT their fault.”

Ariana DeBose was present during the ceremony for her Best Song nomination for the song ‘This Wish’ from Disney’s 2023 film Wish. After Ramsey told the joke, the camera cut to DeBose, a Broadway veteran and Tony Award nominee, who did not look amused. According to Variety, she also took to Instagram after the ceremony in a post which simply said: “No I didn’t find it funny. Lol.” The post appears to be deleted.

Curtis’ latest post marks the second time the actress publicly defended DeBose. In February, Curtis addressed DeBose’s opening rap performance at the 2023 BAFTAs – which namechecked nominees including Curtis, Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett – in an interview with Deadline. “I’m unclear what the fuck people are on about,” she told the outlet. “For me, it was joyous, celebratory, sisterly, hot, spicy and she’s just so incredibly talented.”

In September, Curtis expressed her interest in playing Dr. Kureha on Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One PieceThe actress posted fan art depicting herself as the character, the caption reading: “ONCE the STRIKE against the greed of the AMTPT is SETTLED with a FAIR CONTRACT, I will lobby along with the growing fan frenzy to become Doctor Kureha in [One Piece]”. One Piece showrunner Matt Owens responded favourably to the request, commenting on Curtis’ post: “Once we get what we deserve and get back to work, let’s talk!”


Curtis received backlash in October for posting about Gaza in support of Israel. The post, which depicted Palestinian children looking towards the sky attached to caption which read “terror from the skies” and an Israeli flag, has since been deleted. Tom Morello responded by reposting a Palestinian journalist’s comment on Curtis’ post on X, and writing: “I’d like to make the radical proposal that the harming of children, no matter who they are & no matter who does it, is always wrong and should be condemned.”