Ofcom confirmed that complaints against Diversity’s performance soared to 15,500 in less than a week. The group’s moving performance was dedicated to Black Lives Matter
Inspired by the BLM activism that has taken the world by storm since the death of George Floyd, the troupe performed to a remix of Tomfoolery’s poem The Great Realisation.
There were also moments when the dancers took a knee and at other points backing performers took to the stage dressed as riot police.
The song Black Lives Matter by Dax then began, which featured the lyrics: “I can’t breathe,” the last words uttered by Floyd.
Some viewers have since criticised the performance, arguing that a family show is not the space for political statements.
Despite the backlash, the troupe have also been inundated with messages of support from a wide-reaching audience who were inspired by the powerful dance.
As the complaints continued to rack up, celebrities have hit back at the criticism on social media.
Responding to the backlash, Ashley told racist critics that they ‘do not represent the views of the public’.
In a series of moving social media posts, he told the haters that “change was inevitable.”
Diversity’s Perri Kiely has also responded to criticism by adding: “I can’t believe the replies to this… apparently these people are adults!? Go educate yourselves.”
BGT judge Alesha Dixon also replied to Ashley’s social media post by writing: “They can kiss my black a**”.
Support from the performance has also come from further afield, with Piers Morgan saying he was proud of the dancers.
A representative for Britain’s Got Talent has since defended the performance in a statement issued to the Mirror.
“Diversity’s performance offered their take on the extraordinary events of 2020 opening up important topics of conversation,” they said, adding: “The show was complied for a family audience.”