Published On: Tue, May 11th, 2021

Ashley Banjo believes Britain’s Got Talent was right platform for Diversity’s BLM routine

Ashley Banjo has revealed he thinks some people were ‘uncomfortable being faced with the truth’ after thousands complained about Diversity’s Black Lives Matter routine on Britain’s Got Talent

The routine was shortlisted for a BAFTA after being nominated by ITV despite being the second most complained-about TV moment for a decade, with over 31,000 viewers complaining to Ofcom after it aired in September.

Appearing on Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain, Ashley, 32, said he disagreed with some who thought a ‘family entertainment show’ was not an appropriate venue for that type of performance.

Honest: Ashley Banjo has revealed he thinks some people were ‘uncomfortable being faced with the truth’ after thousands complained about Diversity’s Black Lives Matter routine on Britain’s Got Talent

He said: ‘It was unexpected. It was unexpected to be in a family entertainment show at that time on ITV. Where I disagree with those people is the fact it was the wrong platform. 

‘Just because it was unexpected doesn’t mean it was wrong. I think a lot of people felt uncomfortable being faced with the truth. 

‘Just walking out in the street and feeling love from people, you feel that and how many more people are in support of this. It’s overwhelming actually. It was a life-changing event.’

There was fury last month as Diversity’s controversial dance routine was shortlisted for a BAFTA after being nominated by ITV despite being the second most complained-about TV moment for a decade.

Controversy: The routine was shortlisted for a BAFTA after being nominated by ITV despite being the second most complained-about TV moment for a decade, with over 31,000 viewers complaining to Ofcom after it aired in September

Controversy: The routine was shortlisted for a BAFTA after being nominated by ITV despite being the second most complained-about TV moment for a decade, with over 31,000 viewers complaining to Ofcom after it aired in September

Officials were accused of pursuing a ‘woke, political agenda’ by considering the dance for the Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment Award, where it will now go to a public vote alongside five other scenes.

Led by Ashley, Diversity opened their performance by reciting a viral poem The Great Realisation by the singer Tomfoolery, about the BLM movement and police brutality.

During their performance, the group also narrated the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on his neck in Minneapolis on May 25 for nearly nine minutes.

The flood of complaints put the controversial routine just steps behind Celebrity Big Brother’s ‘punchgate’ which received 25,237 objections in 2018, after Roxanne Pallett falsely accused Ryan Thomas of hitting her. 

Interview: Appearing Good Morning Britain, Ashley, 32, said he disagreed with some who thought a 'family entertainment show' was not an appropriate venue for that type of performance

Interview: Appearing Good Morning Britain, Ashley, 32, said he disagreed with some who thought a ‘family entertainment show’ was not an appropriate venue for that type of performance

Ashley said on The Jonathan Ross Show that he is ‘proud’ of the routine after its BAFTA nomination.

He said: ‘It was controversial, made a lot of people unhappy, but it also made a lot of people stand up and be proud. It made a lot of conversations happen that needed to happen.

‘To potentially win a Bafta for something that was controversial when it shouldn’t have been, it will be something that stays with me for the rest of my life.’ 

Speaking of the controversy, the doting father added: ‘We thought it would ruffle a few feathers, but not be one of the most complained about moments of the decade.’

He said: 'It was unexpected. It was unexpected to be in a family entertainment show at that time on ITV. Where I disagree with those people is the fact it was the wrong platform'

He said: ‘It was unexpected. It was unexpected to be in a family entertainment show at that time on ITV. Where I disagree with those people is the fact it was the wrong platform’

He’ll add: ‘The reaction, even still to this day, the online reaction I get on a daily basis is shocking, actually. But I’d do it 100 times over.’

Ashley stepped in on the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel last year when Simon Cowell was forced to take time off after breaking his back.

Asked on Good Morning Britain if he will be back in the judging seat, Ashley admitted he is not holding out much hope.

He said: ‘Wouldn’t that be nice? I think Simon’s gonna kick me out, he’s healthy and eager to get back. I’m gonna try and get a BAFTA and then take Simon’s seat.’

Ashley added: 'Just because it was unexpected doesn't mean it was wrong. I think a lot of people felt uncomfortable being faced with the truth'

Ashley added: ‘Just because it was unexpected doesn’t mean it was wrong. I think a lot of people felt uncomfortable being faced with the truth’

Elsewhere in the chat, Ashley also revealed his son Micah has found it difficult to adjust to being around other people again after lockdown.

He said: ‘He saw some people for the first time a few days ago and he wouldn’t let go of me. I found he was almost polar opposite to my little girl. She’s two, he’s one. 

‘That year difference is about their social interaction. It takes Michael a good hour or two to stop clinging onto me because he’s not used to people.’ 

Performance: During their performance, the group narrated the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on his neck in Minneapolis on May 25 for nearly nine minutes

Performance: During their performance, the group narrated the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on his neck in Minneapolis on May 25 for nearly nine minutes

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