Dancer and choreographer Ashley Banjo has spoken out after a Diversity performance on Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday prompted over 1,100 complaints to Ofcom.
The troupe performed an emotional dance inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement on the show’s semi-finals, which included a moment when the entire group took the knee in protest.
MUST WATCH: Diversity's emotional Black Lives Matter performance
Afterwards, when Banjo became aware of the negative comments circling the performance he went on social media to address them.
He said: “So much to say... But I’ll just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages of love and support – Thank you.
“For the thousands of messages of hate and ignorance – Thank you. You highlight exactly what needs to change. Sending nothing but love to you all.”
So much to say... But I’ll Just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages of Love and support - Thank you 🖤 For the thousands of messages of hate and ignorance - Thank you. You highlight exactly what needs to change. Sending nothing but love to you all 🙏🏽🇬🇧 #Diversity pic.twitter.com/3kP0ymUj88
— Ashley Banjo (@AshleyBanjo) September 6, 2020
His tweet then prompted more positive and negative feedback on the social media platform.
Some said Diversity’s performance, which referenced the death of George Floyd in the US, was “powerful”, “perfectly executed” and “a reminder that there are still changes that need to be made”.
It was immense, powerful and very moving. My 11 yr old daughter and I watched it in pure silence and she just simply said “WOW” at the end. Amazing
— Leah Rendall (@lhrork) September 6, 2020
My 10 year old daughter, thought your performance was brilliant and powerful. Gave her (and me) hope for the future. I’m sure, the next generation will listen and be better than the past. So ignore the critics, your message was perfectly executed. Well done.
— cath (@cath85430191) September 7, 2020
I’m in absolutely shock and disbelief reading some of the tweets but what you did was perfect. It was a reminder that there are still changes that need to be made.Thank you thank you thank you for having the strength to say so much without saying a word
— leanda shelton (@leandashelton) September 6, 2020
While others thought it wasn’t “appropriate for a Saturday family show”, “scary” and the “wrong time, wrong place and wrong message to young children watching”.
not sure it is appropriate for a Saturday family show, can you not see that your putting out negativity by suggesting some need to change? I’m a huge diversity fan and admire you for your creativity and talent just not sure you got it right this time though
— Lesley Collins (@jazz9765) September 6, 2020
Load of politicised hatred shoe horned into a light hearted family tv show .......wrong time , wrong place and wrong message to young children watching. Keep your political agenda away from me and my kids eyes. If i want to watch BLM rallies i will watch news 24
— Ben Johnson (@bigbennyboy36) September 6, 2020
my little kid was watching. I dont want her involved in this political violence. It scared her. Where was the warning?
— Jamie (@Jamie_Sense) September 7, 2020
An Ofcom spokeswoman told The Sun said: “We have received a total of 1,121 complaints in relation to last Saturday’s Britain’s Got Talent, most of which related to the Diversity dance segment.
"We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate."
Since it returned to our screens in April, millions have tuned in to watch Britain’s Got Talent each weekend. Banjo is currently standing in as a judge on the talent show, while Simon Cowell recovers from back surgery.
The dance started with Banjo reciting a remix of the poem The Great Realisation by Tomfoolery (real name Tom Roberts). The writer, whose poem has become a viral hit, took to social media to say how honoured he had been to be involved in the performance.