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- Street dancer from Essex, Rose to fame after winning Britain's Got Talent with dance troupe Diversity
Ashley Banjo didn’t leave the house for days after Diversity's Black Lives Matter-inspired 'Britain's Got Talent' backlash.
The dance troupe's infamous performance on the ITV show last year chronicled the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests, and it led to Ofcom receiving almost 30,000 complaints at the time.
Ashley, 33, admits he was hesitant to leave his house after receiving online threats, and he needed time to "process what was going on".
Speaking to Radio Times magazine about how the backlash affected him, he said: “It consumed every waking moment at one point.
“We’d never had a negative reaction to anything really, and this was a huge reaction. I needed a little while to process what was going on,
“You don’t know how messages on Twitter or Instagram will translate in the physical world.”
The dancer went on to explain the nature of the menacing messages, which were threats of physical violence and “people saying I’d get my head kicked in".
He added: “Then other people chiming in saying they ‘can’t wait to see it’.
“People took photos of our studio and said, ‘There are a few of us who don’t want you training here any more so hopefully we don’t bump into you.’ ”
But Ofcom later backed Diversity, saying: “Diversity’s performance referred to challenging and potentially controversial subjects, and in our view, its central message was a call for social cohesion and unity.
“Any depictions of violence by the performers were highly stylised and symbolic of recent global events, and there was no explicit reference to any particular political organisation – but rather a message that the lives of black people matter.”
The dance troupe were also backed by 'BGT' judge Alesha Dixon, who took to Instagram in a post addressing the haters, saying: “They can kiss my black a**".