October 05, 2020
Diversity troupe leader Ashley Banjo has said the controversy surrounding the group’s recent performance on Britain’s Got Talent, which reflected on the events of 2020, is indicative of a deeper issue in British society.
Ashley Banjo Says Diversity Ofcom Complaints Are Evidence Of A Deeper Issue In British Society
In the first semi-final show of this year’s BGT, Diversity returned to the stage to put on a powerful performance looking back at key moments in the year, including scenes alluding to the Coronavirus pandemic, the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing global protests against police brutality.
While the routine won widespread praise at the time, it also led to more than 24,000 complaints being made to Ofcom, which the media regulator eventually dismissed.
Reflecting on the performance in a new interview with GQ Hype, Ashley admitted he was surprised at how much the Black Lives Matter-inspired section of the routine ended up being focussed on.Asked about “that Diversity BLM performance”, Ashley explained: “I’m proud for it to be [called that], but it’s really interesting how you coined it our ‘BLM performance’, because it wasn’t.
“What I find the most incredible thing about all of this is that the Black Lives Matter element of the routine is the part that stuck with people, which, like I said, I can’t reiterate enough how much I’m proud of.
“But the performance itself was supposed to be a roundup of everything that we felt in the year; a summary of the things that have affected us... it was an idea of unity, the idea of hope. And obviously, as part of that routine, it would be impossible to ignore how much the Black Lives Matter movement, the idea of racism coming to the forefront of global attention, is present. It’s here and it’s right now.
“So in our summary of the year, it was impossible for me not to reflect upon it.”Insisting he always had the full support of ITV, Ashley continued: “I said to them on the phone that week before, ‘This is what I think I’m going to do’. And they were great with it. That’s really important. They didn’t say anything until we turned up on the day. We turned up and we rehearsed.
“I think it was a bit of a shock for everybody [there]. Everyone was like, ‘Wow, this is where you’re going’. But as much as it was a shock, I don’t think as many people have ever taken me aside individually. The first run-through in rehearsal, people said they either were in tears or that it connected with them. That for me was so important.”
The Diversity performer was also asked whether he thought the complaints were a symptom of a “significant problem with British culture”.
“I think a significant problem is an idea of perspective, right?” Ashley said. “I feel like, to some people, there is a massively significant problem, and to others there is no problem. And it is that spectrum, for me, that’s the problem.
“You know, I can’t pin it to one specific moment. The idea that there are some people who didn’t even really know that racism still exists – that’s the problem for me. That’s why it’s the right stage. That’s why I’m so passionate about creating these performances.
“And I’m also really passionate about freedom of speech and about open conversation and opinion. I love this country. That’s why I love living here and that’s one of the beautiful things about living here: the fact that we can all speak our mind.
“But if the moment I, as an artist, from a show like Britain’s Got Talent, can’t use my four minutes to say what I like and have it come from the heart, and not even say it offensively, but just say [it] honestly and artistically, that’s an issue.”He added: “I just want people to know racism is real, and, right now, we’re shining the light on the idea that Black lives matter, because they do. And the moment that there are other oppressed minorities or other issues to shine the light on, I’ll be there with bells and whistles on saying, ‘If this is wrong, it needs changing’.
“But right now, we are talking about the fact that Black lives matter. And if you can’t get on board and support that and dig deeper than just blaming a few people who have an opinion that you might not agree with, you need to take a look at yourself.”
An Ofcom spokesperson previously said of the complaints received about Diversity’s performance: “We carefully considered a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important.
“Diversity’s performance referred to challenging and potentially controversial subjects, and in our view, its central message was a call for social cohesion and unity.
“Any depictions of violence by the performers were highly stylised and symbolic recent global events, and there was no explicit reference to any particular political organisation – but rather a message that the lives of Black people matter.”Ofcom update on Britain’s Got Talent complaints: https://t.co/OkwrgTEGEopic.twitter.com/cufN6ZezCC— Ofcom (@Ofcom) September 17, 2020Reacting to Ofcom’s ruling, troupe leader Ashley Banjo wrote on Social Media at the time: “Creativity is always a leap of faith. All I did what was what felt right and I’d do it 100 times over.
“Sending love to everyone that stood by us.”
Later in the series, BGT judge Alesha Dixon was seen wearing a necklace in support of the Black Lives Matter matter movement, which won support from many viewers, although others also complained to the TV watchdog about it.
Read Ashley Banjo’s interview in full on GQ Hype.READ MORE: Prince Harry Reveals He And Meghan Markle Reached Out To Ashley Banjo Amid Diversity Complaints Diversity's Ashley Banjo Speaks Out Over Racist Abuse Since BGT Performance Amanda Holden Speaks Out Over Ofcom Complaints About Alesha Dixon’s BLM Necklace On BGT
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
The Head and the Heart - Live from My Den
November 30, 2020
L0YrtwPIe44
7 Questions with Jamie Dornan
November 25, 2020
bqZLJEd8Gxs
Why 'Selena' star Christian Serratos Chose to Lip-Sync Selena's Songs
November 25, 2020
FNz_Pal3qeo
See how Kandi Burruss, Kim Zolciak and more Housewives' faces have changed | Page Six Celebrity News
November 30, 2020
wjecPZuaLkc
Chris Kattan is up for ‘A Night at the Roxbury’ sequel | Page Six Celebrity News
November 30, 2020
vnBFuv6q1FU
Jennifer Lawrence’s family farm burned to ashes in ‘horrible fire’ | Page Six Celebrity News
November 30, 2020
2NV52k-oDoQ
Paris Hilton Has A Room Dedicated To Her Juicy Couture Clothing | TMZ TV
December 01, 2020
CoHE4nDQBZo
Tichina Arnold Says Grammys Epitomize Problem with Award Shows | TMZ
November 30, 2020
S4zo6QxV5oY
Santa-For-Hire Says COVID's Left Some Impersonators Out in the Cold
November 29, 2020
hgd5xnRT1q4
Gaga Tree Hugging, Obama's UFOs & Bieber's Ice Emergency
December 01, 2020
lkr6fR9rsos
Nick Jonas & Priyanka Chopra Celebrate 2nd Wedding Anniversary | E! News
December 01, 2020
_9gheLnq-ok
Nikki Bella Congratulates Ex John Cena on Wedding | E! News
December 01, 2020
hABCfIarrgE
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Bristol City
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Coventry
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Barnsley
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Brentford
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Cardiff City - Huddersfield
30
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Aston Villa
30
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Fulham
30
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Eibar
30
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Parma
30
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Sampdoria
29
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Tottenham Hotspur
29
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Roma
29
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Wolves
29
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Southampton - Manchester United
29
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
29
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Osasuna
29
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Swansea City
29
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Hoffenheim
29
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Hertha Berlin
29
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Villarreal
29
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Celta Vigo - Granada CF
29
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Spezia
29
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Athletic Bilbao
29
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Crotone
29
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Udinese
28
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Bayern Munich
28
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Koln
28
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Alaves
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Liverpool
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Burnley
28
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Juventus
28
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Inter Milan
28
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Atletico Madrid
28
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - Schalke
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Middlesbrough
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Cardiff City - Luton
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Millwall
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Bournemouth
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Barnsley
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Wycombe Wanderers
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Sheffield United
28
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Verona
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Leeds
28
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Huesca - Sevilla
25
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group B
Inter Milan - Real Madrid
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - AC Milan
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Leicester City
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Arsenal
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Torino
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Parma
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Barcelona
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - West Bromwich Albion
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.