Diversity’s polarising Britain’s Got Talent efficiency remains to be receiving complaints virtually two weeks after initially airing, with TV regulator Ofcom counting 24,041 so far.
The routine, which narrated the mindless loss of life of black man George Floyd beneath the knee of a white police officer, divided followers after it aired throughout the reside present on Saturday September fifth.
The unfavourable response has made it the second most complained about TV second of all time, simply behind Roxanne’s Pallett’s infamous look on Celebrity Big Brother, with a document 25,237 objections.
Controversial: Diversity’s polarising Britain’s Got Talent efficiency remains to be receiving complaints virtually two weeks on, with TV regulator Ofcom receiving 24,041 so far
ITV have stood by Diversity troupe chief Ashley Banjo after the efficiency provoked a heated response.
In an announcement the broadcaster instructed MailOnline that their efficiency supplied an ‘genuine, heartfelt’ response to the problems of 2020 after viewers criticised the routine for ‘politicising’ the present.
They mentioned: ‘Britain’s Got Talent has at all times been an inclusive present, which showcases variety and helps robust storytelling in all kinds and ITV stands behind the choice to broadcast Diversity’s efficiency on BGT.
Hard hitting: The routine, which narrated the loss of life of black man George Floyd beneath the knee of a white police officer, divided followers after it aired throughout the reside present on Saturday September fifth
Support: ITV have stood by Britain’s Got Talent decide Ashley Banjo and his Diversity dance troupe
‘Ashley and the group are an excellent instance of the expertise, creativity and variety of recent Britain and their efficiency was an genuine, heartfelt response to lots of the points and occasions which have affected society in 2020.’
On Friday, an Ofcom spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline that BGT had acquired 15,500 complaints. Last Monday, the determine stood at 1,121.
The consultant added: ‘We are assessing the complaints in opposition to our broadcasting guidelines, however are but to determine whether or not or to not examine.’
Support: The broadcaster shared an announcement on their Twitter web page because the furore continued
Ashley lately broke his silence about Diversity’s routine throughout the first semi-final, and welcomed the dialog the complaints have began.
The dancer addressed each the optimistic and unfavourable response in a candid video as he revealed he and the group have been the goal of ‘racial abuse and threats’ following the dance.
In the assertion, he mentioned: ‘It’s been quite a bit, the whole lot from racial abuse to threats, to only some actually nasty stuff. I’m not going to present gentle to it, I’m not going to present it any extra time than it deserves.
‘But numerous the negativity, the nastiness, and the racism reveals precisely why these performances and precisely why this dialog that has arisen is so vital. Racism may be very actual, I’ve identified it earlier than and I positively comprehend it now.’
Defiant: Ashley lately broke his silence about Diversity’s routine throughout the first semi-final, and welcomed the dialog the complaints have began
He initially started his video by thanking those that had supported Diversity and had shared optimistic messages and nicely needs, even mentioning those that had checked in on the members psychological well-being throughout the aftermath of the routine.
Ashley mentioned: ‘Firstly I need to say thanks to all of the people who find themselves supportive of me and Diversity’s efficiency, who’ve reached out.
‘Honestly it is overwhelming the optimistic response to what we did. Hundreds of 1000’s of messages, feedback, DMs and interactions on the street.
‘There’s been what 15-16,000 complaints of negativity thrown again on the efficiency, however belief me I’m proper within the centre of it and the negativity is within the minority.
‘The optimistic response has been large so thanks a lot everybody who has supported and proven love, stood by what we did.’
Shocking: Ofcom complaints following Diversity’s divisive set reached 23,308 on Tuesday – and edged nearer to turning into probably the most protested TV second of the last decade
He added: ‘Everyone who reached out who checked if we had been alright, thanks to you as nicely.
‘We are good although, we’re feeling optimistic, proud, pleased assured and we stand by each single determination that we made for that efficiency.
‘If I’m sincere with you to have the ability to stand on the very stage that launched Diversity into the limelight as a decide on the panel, standing up for one thing, utilizing our artwork to spark nationwide dialog, what extra might I ask for as a artistic and an artist?
‘To entertain, to get individuals speaking, to trigger emotion, that’s the whole lot I might have requested for therefore I’m proud and like I mentioned I stand by it so thanks to everybody exhibiting their positivity.’
Sharing his determination to stay optimistic within the face of racist trolls, he went on: ‘After this efficiency the whole lot that we have seen, I do not know, it has been overwhelmingly unfavourable generally, which is hard.
‘But nonetheless, like I mentioned, [I’m] standing robust and feeling so proud of what we have accomplished, if that is what it takes that is a value I’m completely prepared to pay.’
Ashley then described the dance routine in full, stipulating that Diversity had been giving a ‘abstract of 2020’ with their efficiency tackling matters like lockdown, COVID-19, the NHS, George Floyd’s loss of life and the Black Lives Matter motion.
‘It was layered, it was one thing we needed to carry to the stage to carry hope but in addition to not draw back from troublesome conversations and troublesome points which have arisen,’ he mentioned of the dance.
‘That’s precisely why the query whether or not Britain’s Got Talent was the appropriate platform was one which I simply cannot get on board with.
‘If an artist or artistic cannot use actual world points, common points, to encourage their artwork and are available by how they specific them then what is the level?
Widely watched: Britain’s Got Talent’s second semi-final pulled in 4.95 million viewers, only a week after its first present sparked backlash from viewers
‘Britain’s Got Talent has been a stage for therefore many unbelievable performers, artists and abilities who need to specific all completely different sorts of feelings and views, and tales, human ones.
‘Of course political concepts are going to work into performances as a result of it impacts us each single day, common issues that have an effect on us, that’s what artwork is; it is an expression of how we really feel and this set of 2020 is precisely that.’
Explaining that he needed Diversity’s dance to specific the ‘rollercoaster of feelings’ that he and the group have skilled this yr, he then addressed the portion of the dance devoted to the Black Lives Matter motion.
‘The bit that was actually appeared to attach with individuals and agitate, annoy and offend individuals was the truth that we stood up and mentioned that racism is actual and so far as we’re involved it has to alter in order that we’re tolerant as a result of Black Lives Matter.
‘Now, lots of people had been offended on the political nature of that assertion, however that is by no means what we supposed, black lives mattered lengthy earlier than it was something political or affiliated with one set of individuals with an announcement.
‘Black Lives Matter is a truth. It is and at all times will likely be a truth. That’s what I stand by that is what each single one in all my staff proudly standby and that is why we included it in our abstract of 2020.’
He praised how the Black Lives Matter motion has ‘made its method all over the world’ and ‘began the dialog’ about racism throughout the globe.
‘I’m so glad that this efficiency has virtually ignited the spark of that dialog to be continued once more,’ he admitted.
‘The incontrovertible fact that it was a medium like a dance and it was on a present like Britain’s Got Talent within the mainstream is so essential.
‘Families, faculties, houses, buddies are actually having this dialog about one thing that may be very actual and impacts so many individuals.
‘I’m proud, I’m pleased and like I mentioned I need to say thanks to everybody who supported us. I do not need this dialog to finish.’
Ashley concluded by reiterating his gratitude to followers who’ve stood by him and Diversity, and he ‘despatched love’ to ‘each single one in all you that is thrown optimistic power or unfavourable power at me and the group.’
Planning: For the primary time within the present’s 13-year historical past, the semis have been pre-recorded, with the second present being filmed two weeks in the past, earlier than Diversity’s BLM efficiency aired
Britain’s Got Talent’s second semi-final pulled in 4.95 million viewers, only a week after its first present sparked backlash from viewers.
Despite the controversy BGT solely noticed a lower of 350,000 viewers on the earlier week’s present when it returned to screens on Saturday.
The numbers had been nonetheless a robust exhibiting for BGT, because it acquired greater than double the viewership of its principal rival within the slot, The Last Night of the Proms, which has confronted its personal controversy and solely drew in 2.1 million viewers.
At its peak on Saturday, 5.7million viewers tuned into BGT.
Last week’s BGT pulled in 5.Three million viewers, because the present returned to screens after the semi-finals had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the primary time within the present’s 13-year historical past, the semis have been pre-recorded, with the second present being filmed two weeks in the past, earlier than Diversity’s BLM efficiency aired.
Memorable: Diversity’s BLM efficiency was met with blended responses, with some calling out the show as making a ‘political assertion’ and others hailing the dance as ‘highly effective’
Ashley’s spouse Francesca took to social media to share her personal ideas on the unfavourable response from some viewers, saying ‘shying away from points’ will not be the reply.
Sharing clips from the efficiency, she wrote: ‘On Saturday @ashleybanjogram and @diversityofficial carried out this routine on @bgt, 11 years after profitable the present. To name this a ‘dance routine’ is an understatement to say the least.
‘This piece was a tackle the unprecedented occasions of 2020, from Covid 19 to BLM, from clapping for carers as a nation to coming collectively in our personal households and discovering the sunshine within the darkest of occasions.
‘Some might discover this uncomfortable, might really feel it inappropriate, however shying away from points will not be going to carry in regards to the change that’s so lengthy overdue.’
She added: ‘Watching this I couldn’t be prouder of my husband.
‘Rose and Micah will watch this and when they’re sufficiently old to know they are going to be proud that their Dad created one thing so poignant and used his voice to face up for what is true. We are one race, the human race.’
Response: Ashley wrote again, ‘1. You don’t characterize or communicate for the Great British public. 2. Silence was by no means and can by no means be an possibility. 3. Change is inevitable… Get used to it’
During their efficiency, the dance group, who had been wearing riot gear, recited a viral poem in regards to the BLM motion earlier than happening to point out a policemen inserting a hand over Banjo’s throat as he lay on the bottom to the tune I Can’t Breathe.
Speaking after the efficiency Banjo instructed MailOnline: ‘This efficiency is extraordinarily particular to me and the remainder of Diversity.
‘2020 has been an unbelievable second in historical past for each optimistic and unfavourable causes.
Statement: Ashley additionally wrote final Sunday, simply hours after the efficiency aired, ‘So a lot to say… But I’ll Just let the efficiency speak…’ after backlash from some viewers
‘We needed to make use of the platform we have been given to make our voices heard, specific how the occasions of this yr have made us really feel and take into consideration how we’d look again on them sooner or later… We name it hindsight 2020.’
Following the loss of life of Floyd earlier this yr 1000’s throughout the globe took to the streets calling for the officers concerned to be jailed for his or her crime.
Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged in June with second-degree homicide whereas officers Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – had been additionally charged with aiding and abetting second-degree homicide and second-degree manslaughter.