September 17, 2020
Ofcom has announced that it will not be investigating Britain’s Got Talent, after a performance from dance troupe Diversity led to more than 24,000 complaints to the media regulator.
Ofcom Dismisses Complaints Over Diversitys Britains Got Talent Performance
When the ITV talent show returned to our screens earlier this month, the former winners gave a performance inspired by the events of 2020.
This included references to both the Coronavirus pandemic and the killing of George Floyd, as well as the global protests in support of Black Lives Matter that followed.
Although the group’s routine won widespread praise from viewers when it first aired, in the weeks since around 24,500 people complained to Ofcom.The TV watchdog said these complaints were based on the idea that the “themes of violence and racism were inappropriate for family viewing”, “that it expressed support for the political organisation Black Lives Matter” and that it was “racist towards white people”.
They also noted that they had received “a number of messages of support and praise for the performance”.
Ofcom has now confirmed that they will not be taking the matter any further, saying in a statement: “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 stylisted 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.”
You can read the full report here.Ofcom update on Britain’s Got Talent complaints: https://t.co/OkwrgTEGEopic.twitter.com/cufN6ZezCC— Ofcom (@Ofcom) September 17, 2020ITV previously announced they were standing by Diversity, saying in a statement: “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.
“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.”Troupe leader Ashley Banjo recently assured his Instagram followers: “We’re feeling positive, proud, happy, confident and we stand by every single decision that we made with that performance.”
Since then, he has posted shocking examples of the racist comments that he and his fellow performers have received on Social Media since the performance aired.“Please don’t worry about or feel sorry for me,” he insisted. “Feel sorry for the people that endure this kind of abuse and have no voice or platform. Feel sorry for the people that have been singled out, abused and in some cases murdered because of the colour of their skin.“The only saving grace is that this is the vast minority... But for all the people asking or wondering – yes [racism] is very real and yes it does exist.”
As well as performing during the first semi-final, Ashley is currently serving as a judge on BGT, filling in for Simon Cowell, who is recovering from surgery on his back.READ MORE: Alesha Dixon Dispels Claims She Said She'd Quit BGT If ITV Apologised Over Diversity Performance Piers Morgan To Those Who Complained About Diversity's BGT Performance: 'You're The Problem' Diversity's Ashley Banjo Speaks Out Over Racist Abuse Since BGT Performance
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