Jordan Banjo says Diversity's Britain's Got Talent performance wasn't focused on politics
- Bang Showbiz
- 28 September 2020
Diversity star Jordan Banjo says the troupe's Black Lived Matter-inspired routine on 'Britain's Got Talent' wasn't focused on politics or intended to be "antagonistic"
Jordan Banjo says Diversity weren't focused on politics or being "antagonistic" with their 'Britain's Got Talent' performance.
The dance troupe – who won the ITV competition in 2009 – delivered a powerful performance inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement earlier this month, and the star has addressed the routine's critics after it sparked thousands of complaints to Ofcom.
He told Hello! magazine: "The other day I was in the petrol station and someone shouted out: 'Mate, don't worry about the muppets who are complaining.'
"It was just some random guy in a van telling me how much he loved the performance, but all those things mean as much, if not more.
"All you can really do is go on and speak your own truth. It was a dance piece. No one went on television to be antagonistic or spark a media frenzy. There were no politics."
Perri Kiely agreed that he and the rest of the group did nothing wrong with their powerful routine.
He added: "It wasn't as if we were doing something wrong. We just wanted to get people talking about it."
Despite Ofcom receiving around 24,000 complaints regarding the performance, the regulator confirmed they won't be taking any action.
In a firm statement, Ofcom said: "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 of 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.
"We will not be taking this case on to formal investigation."
Ofcom's statement comes after ITV backed Diversity over the backlash, and insisted the performance 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."