Ashley Banjo feared his safety after BGT performance
- Bang Showbiz
- 5 October 2020
Diversity star Ashley Banjo feared for his life after his Black Lives Matter performance on 'Britain's Got Talent' received 27,000 Ofcom complaints
Ashley Banjo feared for his safety following ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ complaints.
The 32-year-old dancer was terrified of leaving his home following the Black Lives Matter performance by his dance troupe Diversity on the ITV talent show which received 27,000 Ofcom complaints and countless nasty messages on social media.
Speaking to GQ Hype, Ashley said: ‘Even though we never said it out loud to each other, it affected our way of thinking and our behaviour to an extent. It affected the way that we acted. I walked out of the front door, and you always have to prepare yourself for some level of attention, but I didn’t know what kind of attention I was going to get, especially when you’re getting open threats. It’s a lot to deal with.
“There were points when I was genuinely worried, you know. Points when I would think to myself, ‘Will it be safe to go here or go there?’ Even now, you know, sometimes I’ll look and go, ‘That could be a group of people that really disagrees with me’; you don’t know how they’re going to [react] when you put your neck out on the line for what you believe in.”
Diversity's routine included a white performer kneeling on Banjo's neck, a reference to George Floyd's death in police custody, and dancers dressed as riot police.
Ofcom decided not to investigate the complaints as they insisted that it wasn’t meant as a political statement.
An Ofcom spokeswoman 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,