Ashley Banjo has broken his silence after his performance with Diversity on Britain’s Got Talent was flooded with thousands of complaints.
The dance troupe – who were crowned winners of the ITV series in 2009 – returned to the stage during the semi-final last Saturday.
They blessed viewers with a moving routine, which included references to taking the knee, as well as George Floyd’s death earlier this year.
While some viewers were moved by the emotional performance, flocking to social media to praise the dancers, others complained to Ofcom in their droves.
The TV watchdog received more than 15,500 complaints – breaking a 2020 record.
Ashley, who has remained silent up until now, took to Instagram to address the issue, as he thanked all his fans for their ongoing support.
‘What’s up everyone, I just wanted to do a quick video just to address some issues, it has been a crazy week and I have been a bit quiet on social been living life, but now I feel is the time to come out and say a few things’ he began.
‘Firstly, I want to say thank you, for all the people who have supported what me and Diversity did with our performance. Honestly, it is overwhelming.
‘Hundreds of thousands of messages, comments DMs and interactions in the street.’
The dancer went on to add that despite the thousands of complaints made to Ofcom he stands by the BLM routine.
He continued: ‘I know a lot of the press reports have been about the complaints and the negativity, which there has been a lot – there’s has been what, 15, 16,000 complaints.
‘A lot of negativity thrown at the performance, but trust me, I am right in the centre of it and the negativity is the minority.
‘The positive response has been huge, so thank you so much to everyone who has supported, shown love and stood by what we did.
‘We are feeling positive, proud, happy, confident and we stand by every single decision we made with that performance.’
He added: ‘If I am honest with you, to be able to stand on that very stage that launched Diversity into the limelight, as a judge on the panel standing up for something we believe in, using our art to spark s nationwide conversation – what more could I ask for as a creative, as an artist?’
Addressing the negativity, Ashley acknowledged ‘there’s been a lot’.
‘Racial abuse to threats, to just some really nasty stuff,’ he explained.
‘I am not going to give it any more time than it deserves, all of the nastiness and the racism shows exactly why this performance was needed and exactly why this conversation has now arisen from it.
‘Racism is very real, especially after this performance.’
Britain’s Got Talent airs on Saturday at 8pm on ITV.
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