OFCOM, THE UK’s communications regulator, has announced that the Diversity’s controversial performance on the Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) show on September 5, which had over 24,000 complaints, will not be investigated.
Ofcom released the following statement across their social media:
“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, it’s 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.”
The dance troupe’s routine saw lead dancer and choreographer Ashley Banjo lying on the floor whilst a performer dressed as a police officer restrained him. He then stated: “What we thought we knew, some clearly didn’t – Black Lives Matter.”
The performance was in response to a series of ongoing events which have sparked a global conversation about institutional racism and racially motivated police violence, including the killing of George Floyd.
In our view, it’s central message was a call for social cohesion and unity.
The performance featured a remix of the viral spoken word poem: The Great Realisation, by Tomfoolery, which discusses life in a post-coronavirus world. Other references to the BLM movement, such as taking a knee and themes of police brutality were also depicted in the powerful performance.
Since its debut, the routine has received an influx of both praise and outrage from BGT viewers. Many discussed how “powerful” and “deeply moving” the piece was, with some even expressing the performance moved them to tears. Others felt the dance was too “political” for a family entertainment show.
However, the TV watchdog has now officially concluded that the programme didn’t raise any issues warranting an investigation under British broadcasting rules.
Ashley Banjo took to social media to discuss the performance: “All I did was what felt right and I’d do it 100 times over. The negativity is the minority, we stand by every single decision we made with that performance.
“Sending love to everyone that stood by us.”