ITV back Diversity after 'heartfelt' Britain's Got Talent performance

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 15 September 2020
Ashley Banjo

Ashley Banjo

ITV have backed Diversity, describing their 'Britain's Got Talent' performance as an "authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020", after more than 22,000 people complained to Ofcom about the routine

ITV have backed Diversity amid the backlash over their 'Britain's Got Talent' performance.

The network have defended the dance troupe after more than 22,000 people complained to Ofcom about their BLM-inspired routine – which narrated the death of George Floyd, among other recent events – earlier this month, but ITV have insisted it was an "authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020".

In a statement published on their website, an ITV spokesman said: "'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."

This comes after 'BGT' judge Amanda Holden revealed yesterday (14.09.20) that the show had been "inundated with hundreds of thousands of positive responses" to Diversity's routine.

She said: "It is extraordinary, and I think the number of negative complaints means this conversation is right and fundamental and should continue to happen.

"What hasn't been highlighted is the fact we were inundated with hundreds of thousands of positive responses.

"As a 'BGT' family – and Diversity is part of that family, and Ashley is doing a phenomenal job on 'BGT'. We stand by him and stand by that performance 100 per cent."

Diversity member Ashley Banjo is currently also a stand-in judge on the 'BGT' panel after Simon Cowell was unable to film the semi-finals after breaking his back in an electric bike accident.

In response to criticism over the powerful performance, Ashley has said the backlash shows why the routine was so important.

He said: "A lot of the comments showed just why this performance was needed.

"Racism is very real. I knew it before, and I definitely know it now. After this performance, everything that we've received it's been overwhelming in a negative sense sometimes.

"It's been tough ... I'm feeling so happy that we opened it up and if that's what it takes it's a price I'm willing to pay."

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