diversity-dance

Britain's Got Talent issue statement over Diversity's performance

Over 20,000 people have complained to TV watchdog Ofcom

Sharnaz Shahid

Britain's Got Talent and ITV bosses have released a statement following Diversity's recent performance, which sparked over 20,000 complaints to the TV watchdog Ofcom.

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The popular dance troupe, who won the third series back in 2009, took to the stage last week with a routine inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. However, furious viewers complained after watching the performance, which referenced the death of George Floyd - with many claiming it took an overtly political stance.

An ITV spokesman said on Tuesday: "Britain's Got Talent has always been an inclusive show, which showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms and ITV stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity's performance on BGT.

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"Ashley and the group are a great example of the talent, creativity and diversity of modern Britain and their performance was an authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020."

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Ashley Banjo, who is stepping in for Simon Cowell on the judging panel this year, has since revealed he has been sent horrible messages on social media. Defending their dance, the guest judge said: "So much to say... But I’ll Just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages of Love and support - Thank you.

ashley-banjo-diversity

Ashley Banjo with dance troupe Diversity

"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."

Fellow judge Alesha Dixon was forced to set the record straight after it was reported that she would quit the talent show over the furore.

"For the record I never threatened to quit BGT, I’ve had no conversations with ITV regarding this matter," she tweeted. The star then expressed her support for Diversity, adding: "I do however stand by and support @AshleyBanjo and Diversity. #IamNotYourMediaPuppet."

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