Diversity’s BGT Dance Number Sent Thousands of Complaints to OfcomDecember 4, 2020
During “Britain’s Got Talent” Sept 05. episode, the performance of a British dance group called Diversity triggered over 24,000 viewer complaints in Ofcom. Apparently, many were not impressed, much less happy, with the dance group’s choice of theme, which was intended as a show of support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement.
The interpretative dance performance included a dance depiction of the murder of a regular black American guy named George Floyd, whose death at the hands of a local US police re-sparked the BLM Movement. .
Ofcom by the way stands for Office of Communications, which acts as the multimedia communications regulator in the United Kingdom. This UK government office received thousands of complaints coming from UK BGT viewers after the performance was aired; many of whom complained about letting a family-oriented show include political content.
What was Controversial about Diversity’s BGT Performance?
Diversity began its dance performance with a story about a kid from the future, asking for a retelling of the story of the fateful events of the year 2020, to wh8ch viewers mainly expected mostly references to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the performance went on with interpretative dance segments confronting the issue of racism against people of color in the UK, and all over the world.
The choice of sound for the performance revolved around the phrase George Floyd uttered repeatedly: “I can’t breathe,” when he was held down on the neck with the knee of one of the Minneapolis policemen.
Adding to the controversy was when Ashley Banjo, the leader of the dance group, wrote his sentiment as a caption to his Instagram post, saying that
“In the near future, people will look back and realize that everything changed in 2020.”
Still, after receiving numerous negative comments, Ashley also expressed gratitude for both the positive and negative comments he received in connection with Diversity’s BGT performance. According to Banjo, all of the hate that he has received underscored what needs to be changed as it is very important for him and the members of the dance group.
Jordan Banjo, Ashley’s younger brother and one of the main performers of the BLM-George Floyd dance sequence, tried very hard not to cry in an interview. Sadly,he said he did not expect the hateful comments they received at social media sites; saying that all they wanted was to convey a message of love and positivity.