Ashley Banjo defends Diversity's BGT performance as complaints double

The dancer is standing in for Simon Cowell as a judge on the ITV show

Jenni McKnight

Ashley Banjo has defended Diversity's Britain's Got Talent performance after the Black Lives Matter-inspired routine sparked more than 2,000 complaints.

Diversity's routine, which narrated the killing of George Floyd in May, had already divided fans on Saturday night, with many claiming it took an overtly political stance.

MORE: The stars sharing powerful messages to support the Black Lives Matter movement

Loading the player...

WATCH: Meghan Markle breaks silence on Black Lives Matter movement

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the number of complaints to Ofcom more than doubled to 2,966. On Monday the figure stood at 1,121.

Ashley, who is the group's choreographer, has since issued a statement on Instagram, writing: "Art: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

"My truth, my platform, my art. I’ve always tried to create not only to entertain but also to inspire... That will never change.

"‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter’ - Martin Luther King Jr."


A post shared by Ashley Banjo (@ashleybanjogram) on

Diversity sparked a mixed response with their powerful performance on BGT

MORE: Look back at new Britain's Got Talent judge Ashley Banjo's beautiful wedding

He added: "I’m so grateful and overwhelmed by all of the love and support but also by the amount of conversation this performance has thrown up, 2020 has been such a historical year. One day we will look back and realise it was the start of real change...

"Sending out nothing but love and positivity to everyone reading this post."


A post shared by Ashley Banjo (@ashleybanjogram) on

Ashley Banjo is standing in for Simon Cowell after he broke his back 

Shortly after Diversity's performance, Ashley addressed some of the negative feedback, writing on Instagram on Sunday: "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."

Ofcom told MailOnline they "are yet to decide whether or not to investigate" Diversity's performance while assessing the complaints.

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.