Ariana DeBose on Receiving Jamie Lee Curtis’ Support After Bella Ramsey’s Critics Choice Awards Joke: ‘She’s a Queen!’ (Exclusive)

"I think the more positivity and the more celebration we can do the better,” the 'Argylle' actress tells PEOPLE

<p>Kate Green/Getty; Unique Nicole/WireImage; Neilson Barnard/Getty </p> Ariana DeBose, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bella Ramsey

Kate Green/Getty; Unique Nicole/WireImage; Neilson Barnard/Getty

Ariana DeBose, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bella Ramsey

Ariana DeBose is thankful for Jamie Lee Curtis' consistent support.

During the red carpet at the world premiere for her new movie Argylle, the Oscar winner, 32, was asked for her thoughts on Curtis’ response to a joke about her at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards that fell flat.

“Thank you to my supporters, I always appreciate it," DeBose tells PEOPLE exclusively on Wednesday. “Jamie Lee is a queen!’”

<p>Steve Granitz/FilmMagic</p> Ariana DeBose on Jan. 14

Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

Ariana DeBose on Jan. 14

The West Side Story actress explains, “I love awards shows. I love them so much. I grew up watching them, and personally, I love them when they focus on the celebration of the achievements of the season, of the industry, and the positivity.”

“We are an industry that is just coming out of a strike, and honestly, society is still recurring from Covid,” DeBose continues. “So I think the more positivity and the more celebration we can do the better.”

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Related: Barbie's John Cena Praises Greta Gerwig, Margot Robbie After Oscar Snubs: They ‘Changed a Lot of Lives' (Exclusive)

<p>Lionel Hahn/Getty</p> Bella Ramsey on Jan. 14

Lionel Hahn/Getty

Bella Ramsey on Jan. 14

DeBose’s comments follow the Jan. 14 awards ceremony, in which her name was included in a punchline of a joke presenters Bella Ramsey and Anthony Ramos delivered while presenting the ceremony's award for best song. DeBose's Disney movie Wish received a nomination for the song "This Wish."

Ramsey, 19, listed nominees DeBose, Jack Black and Ryan Gosling as "actors who also think they are singers" while reading a teleprompter. As the camera cut to the Tony Award-nominated star, DeBose appeared confused by the joke before smiling and laughing.

After the ceremony, DeBose wrote on her Instagram Story, "No I didn't find it funny. Lol."

<p>Ariana DeBose/Instagram</p>

Ariana DeBose/Instagram

Shortly thereafter, Curtis, 65, defended DeBose with a now-removed Instagram Reel reposting a clip of the joke along with several clips of DeBose singing, reported Variety.

“Are you f------ kidding me!” the Everything Everywhere All at Once actress captioned the post. “Ariana DeBose is a queen.”

The next day, DeBose and Ramsey were photographed hugging each other in the audience at the Emmy Awards.

<p>Evan Ross Katz/ Instagram</p> Ariana DeBose and Bella Ramsey on Jan. 15, 2024.

Evan Ross Katz/ Instagram

Ariana DeBose and Bella Ramsey on Jan. 15, 2024.

Related: Ariana DeBose Tells Dreamers to 'Never Stop Believing' as She Dazzles in Purple at Wish Premiere (Exclusive)

Curtis also defended DeBose's 2023 BAFTA Awards hosting performance. After DeBose’s viral opening rap — in which she name-dropped Curtis, Angela Bassett, Viola Davis and Cate Blanchett — the Halloween star told Deadline that social media critics "should shut the f--- up" about DeBose’s performance.

<p>Mark Von Holden/Variety via Getty</p> Jamie Lee Curtis on September 21, 2023 in West Hollywood, California.

Mark Von Holden/Variety via Getty

Jamie Lee Curtis on September 21, 2023 in West Hollywood, California.

"I'm unclear as to what the f--- people are on about," Curtis said at the time. "For me, it was joyous, celebratory, sisterly, hot, spicy... and she's just so incredibly talented."

"None of us knew what she was doing. So, when they would cut to us, I was into it. By the time it got to me, I was into the music and I was having a great time," added Curtis. "She is a fantastic talent. These people should shut the f--- up, back the f--- off and let this woman just shine her light because she is fantastic."

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