Ofcom officially rejects complaints about Diversity's Britain's Got Talent performance
"We will not be taking this case on to formal investigation"
Media regulator Ofcom has rejected complaints made about Diversity's Black Lives Matter performance on Britain's Got Talent, citing that it did not reference "any particular political organisation," and instead delivered "the message that the lives of black people matter."
On the September 5th edition of the show, the dance troupe performed a routine that directly addressed the BLM movement and the death of George Floyd. It involved a white police officer putting his knee on Ashley Banjo whilst other dancers filmed it on mobile phones.
Ofcom received over 21,000 complaints about the performance, but they have now confirmed in a statement that they will not be taking the investigation any further.
— Ofcom (@Ofcom) September 17, 2020
"We carefully considered a large amount of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important," reads the statement.
"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 the message that the lives of black people matter."
"We will not be taking this case on to formal investigation."
The full Ofcom report can be read on their website.
On Tuesday night, ITV tweeted a statement pledging their support to Diversity.
A statement about Britain's Got Talent pic.twitter.com/tO5WhysqIy
— ITV (@ITV) September 15, 2020
"Britain's Got Talent has always been an inclusive show, which showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms and ITV stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity's performance on BGT," the ITV statement read.
"Ashley [Banjo] and the group are a great example of the talent, creativity and diversity of modern Britain and their performance was an authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020."
Ashley Banjo was filling in as a guest judge for Simon Cowell on the episode, who was suffering from a back injury.