Amanda Holden backs Ashley Banjo '100 per cent' after Diversity backlash

ITV's Diversity disaster: how Black Lives Matter gatecrashed Britain's Got Talent

The routine led to the second highest number of complaints to Ofcom for a TV show since 2010, after 25,327 were made in 2018 about Celebrity Big Brother when ex-Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett alleged she had been assaulted by fellow housemate Ryan Thomas.

The dance group has been at the centre of controversy after over 15,000 people complained to Ofcom about their Black Lives Matter dance. I understand that lots of the media reports and the headlines are on the complaints and the parting... but trust me I am right in the middle of the rest is that the minority.

'We stand by every single decision we made with that performance...

It included a white performer kneeling on Banjo's neck, a reference to George Floyd's death in police custody, and dancers dressed as riot police.

Diversity members have said that they have been "bombarded" by hateful messages following the performance.

In a video posted to Instagram on Sunday he said: "It's been a insane week and I've kind of been a bit quiet on social (media), I've been living life trying not to get caught up in it all".

"Replying to an Instagram post by Diversity leader Ashley Banjo where he opened up about the racist abuse he and his crew had suffered in response to the performance, Alesha wrote: "[They] can kiss my black ass!" Honestly, it's overwhelming, the positivity, to what we did.

Sadly, Ashley said he was receiving fierce abuse by following the routine: "Everything from racial abuse, to threats, to some really hateful things". "I knew it before and I definitely know it now", said the presenter.

"I am not going to give it any more time than it deserves, all of the nastiness and the racism shows exactly why this performance was needed and exactly why this conversation has now arisen from it".

"Racism is very real, especially after this performance".

He said he "just can't get on board" with the argument that BGT was the wrong platform for their message.

The Britain's Got Talent episode featuring the performance was the subject of 15,500 complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

"What more could I ask for as a creative, as an artist? We stand by them and stand by Ashley Banjo 100 per cent".

"A lot of people were offended at the political nature of that statement, but that's never what we intended".

The team all took on the knee prior to the tune Black Lives Issue by Dax started, which includes the lyrics:"I cannot breathe", the very last words given by Mr Floyd.



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