On Saturday (September 5), stand-in judge Ashley Banjo took to the stage with the rest of the Diversity dance troupe for a performance that explored the events of 2020 so far, including the coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter marches and the death of George Floyd.
After the performance aired, some BGT viewers complained that the routine was too political for a Saturday night entertainment programme, and Ashley has revealed that he and other members of Diversity have received abuse from online trolls in the days since.
In a recent Instagram post, Ashley shared an image that he's been sent by trolls suggesting that he and other Black stars like Anthony Joshua and Lewis Hamilton should not discuss racism.
In reply, Ashley wrote: "For the people sending this: You do not represent or speak for the Great British public. 2. Silence was never and will never be an option. 3. Change is inevitable... Get used to it."
And in the comments to his post, Ashley's fellow BGT judge was quick to show her support and slam Diversity's critics too, writing: "[They] can kiss my black ass!"
Earlier this week, Diversity stars Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely shared that they had been receiving "horrible" comments following the performance as they discussed the response to the dance on their radio show.
"We won Britain's Got Talent 11 years ago and never ever, to anything we've done, [have we] had a response like this. Normally it's love, and of course you get some critiques, but normally it's focused on the dance," Jordan said.
"This one, it was different. Like [Perri] said it was really important, it was special to us and you know we're all about positivity and love and we got so much positivity and love back from this one but we also got bombarded with messages and articles.
"Horrible stuff about us, about our families, about how even now Diversity not diverse enough because there's only five white people in it. I can't speak for anyone else it's sad, it's sad, genuinely."
He continued: "I feel really anxious and worried saying something like Black Lives Matter when that's all we want man, love and positivity. No one's saying only Black lives matter. But as a son and as a dad, I look at [Perri] and I just... it's all positivity and love, let's keep it moving."
The Britain's Got Talent semi-finals continue on Saturday evenings on ITV.
For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
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