ITV has responded to complaints regarding dance group Diversity’s Black Lives Matter performance on Britain’s Got Talent, standing by its decision to broadcast the routine.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the broadcaster described Britain’s Got Talent as “an inclusive show”, which “showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms”.
“ITV stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity’s performance on BGT,” they continued.
“Ashley 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.”
Ofcom has confirmed to RadioTimes.com that it has received a total of 23,308 complaints following the broadcast of the 5th September episode of Britain’s Got Talent, but was unable to provide details on the type of complaints received – these will be categorised at a later date.
The Diversity routine, which featured a dance interpretation of the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred earlier this year, included a sequence in which a dancer knelt on another, referencing the arrest of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis in May.
Diversity member Ashley Banjo has temporarily replaced Simon Cowell during this year’s live finals after the BGT creator suffered a back injury during a bike accident in August.
He joins Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams on the judging panel for the series, which resumed its semi-finals in September following a hiatus imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first half of the series, consisting of audition episodes, aired in April and May.
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