ITV "stood out with diversity" when they ran a full-page ad in national newspapers on Saturday in support of Black Lives Matters' controversial British dance, "Got Talent".
The poster showed a poignant black and white picture of Ashley Banjo, 31, who took the knee next to the words: “We are changed by what we see. Just like we change when we are seen. ITV stands for diversity. & # 39;
It's a response to 24,500 viewers who complained to Ofcom about the politicization of the ITV1 prime-time show.
Alesha was one of many who praised ITV for helping the dance group. The 41-year-old singer took to Instagram to share a snippet of the ad and raved about how “proud” she was of her.
In her caption she wrote: & # 39; Well done @ITV for standing with diversity! Proud of you! This picture can be found in all national newspapers today. & # 39;
Make a statement: In the ITV ad, Ashley kneels during the performance of Diversity and said, “We are changed by what we see. Just like we change when we are seen & # 39;
& # 39; Proud of you! & # 39; Alesha Dixon commended ITV on Saturday for running newspaper ads in support of the BLM-inspired dance of diversity
Ashley also thanked ITV for helping Diversity for their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance.
He shared a snippet of the same ad, kneeling in black and white, and wrote, “This is what change looks like.
& # 39; @ITV stands for @Diversity and we have never been prouder. It is in all national newspapers today. Thanks again to everyone who supported us. & # 39;
Grateful: The 41-year-old singer went to Instagram on Saturday to share a snippet of the ad and wrote: "Well done @ITV for standing with diversity"
Grateful: Ashley also thanked ITV for helping Diversity for his Black Lives Matter-inspired performance
Supportive: Fans also took to Twitter to share their joy at the advertisement
27-year-old diversity star Jordan Banjo, who is in the dance group with his brother Ashley, also shared a picture from the ITV ad for his Instagram stories on Saturday.
Fans also went to Twitter to share their joy at the promotion, as it was written: "How to support #BlackLivesMatter – well done @ITV to not only stand behind @Diversity_Tweet but stand by it too."
Another added: & # 39; Yes ITV !! Time for change, time for solidarity & # 39;
One user praised: & # 39; ITV supports diversity at #BGT: Good with them. ITV is running a national advertising campaign to support what Diversity has done: I'm speechless. How to make a statement. & # 39;
However, others expressed concern but were unable to respond directly to ITV's announcement because the broadcaster disabled the option.
Support: 27-year-old diversity star Jordan Banjo, who appears in the dance group with brother Ashley, also shared a picture from the ITV ad for his Instagram stories
Controversial: On Thursday, OfCom announced they would not investigate the Black Lives Matter-inspired routine of diversity from Britain's Got Talent on September 5th
Users have found a way to get their voices heard by quoting the tweet or replying to Ashley Banjo on Instagram instead.
While the majority of responses were positive, one user said the ad was "extreme wakefulness" while another said it was "a shame".
On Ashley Banjo on Instagram, a man replied, “I'm African and I'm already bored. Why did you wait for the BGT platform to present BLM? At the end of the day, it's all about business. & # 39;
One woman wrote: “Tired of things that were supposed to be family entertainment, connected with political agendas, and rammed people's throats. Stop it. & # 39;
ITV turned off responses to its announcement earlier today, but Twitter users have spoken out against the ad, calling the station a "shame".
On Thursday OfCom announced that it will not investigate the 24,500 complaints that Diversity's Black Lives Matter-inspired routine will not investigate Britain's Got Talent on September 5th.
The performance is now the second most widely criticized of the television moment of the decade, but a spokesman for the government-approved regulator has confirmed to MailOnline that no action will be taken.
The representative said: “We have carefully examined a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important.
Decision: A spokesman for the government-approved regulator confirmed to MailOnline that no action will be taken
Diversity's performance has addressed challenging and potentially controversial issues and we believe the central message was a call for social cohesion and unity.
"Any depictions of violence by the performers were highly stylized and symbolic of recent global events, and there was no explicit reference to any particular political organization – but a message that black lives mattered."
Troop leader Ashley responded to the news on Instagram when he shared the statement, writing, “Creativity is always a leap of faith. All I did was what felt right and I would do it 100 times … I send love to everyone who stood by us.
Proud: Troop leader Ashley responded to the news on Instagram when he shared the statement, writing: “Creativity is always a leap in confidence. I just did what felt right. & # 39;
The decision received mixed reactions from viewers, with some praising the move and others claiming that firmer measures needed to be taken.
However, one angry complainant wrote: “Absolutely useless. This controller is completely incompetent. That disgusting quango must be done away with. incredible…
“The dance was a political dance that started racial segregation in our country. He was an obvious support for a far-right Marxist extremist cult. It didn't have a place on a prime-time entertainment show. & # 39;
The crowd celebrating the move took to Twitter to write, “Quite right. Seems ridiculous that this had to be said at all. But apparently it has …
& # 39; This is a demonstration of good leadership by a public institution. Now, if you could deal with other aspects of public life, the country might not be so messed up. Thank you for being reasonable and seeing the performance for what it is.
& # 39; Thank you very much. I hope this stops the hateful and stupid complaints about a brilliant, powerful and moving performance. & # 39;
It was announced on Wednesday that the show is still receiving complaints almost two weeks after it originally aired, with Ofcom's television regulator counting 24,041 to date.
The routine narrating the death of Black George Floyd under the knee of a white cop shared among fans after it aired during the live show.
Viewers went on Twitter after the episode aired on September 5, complaining about the politicization of the ITV1 prime-time show.
Happy: Some viewers praised the decision in a series of tweets
Angry: However, one angry complainant wrote: “Absolutely useless. This controller is completely incompetent. That disgusting quango must be done away with. incredible & # 39;
The reaction has made it the second most complained TV moment of all time, just behind Roxanne's infamous appearance on Celebrity Big Brother with a record 25,237 objections.
ITV stood by diversity troupe leader Ashley after the performance caused a heated reaction.
In a statement, the broadcaster MailOnline said their performance was an "authentic, heartfelt" response to the issues of 2020 after viewers criticized the routine of "politicizing" the show.
They said: “Britain's Got Talent has always been an inclusive show that shows diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms. ITV is behind the decision to transfer the diversity service to BGT.
"Ashley and the group are a great example of the talent, creativity and diversity of modern Britain. Their performance was an authentic and heartfelt response to many of the problems and events that affected society in 2020."
On Friday, an Ofcom spokesman confirmed to MailOnline that BGT had received 15,500 complaints. Last Monday the number was 1,121.
The representative added: "We are investigating the complaints against our broadcasting rules but have yet to decide whether or not to conduct an investigation."
Ashley recently broke his silence on the routine of diversity in the first semi-final and welcomed the conversation that started the complaints.
Hard hits: The routine that narrated the death of the black man George Floyd under the knee of a white cop shared after it aired during the live show on Sept. 5
Support: ITV supported British Got Talent judge Ashley and his diversity dance group
The dancer addressed both positive and negative reactions in an open video when he revealed that he and the group were the target of "racial abuse and threats" after the dance.
In the statement, he said, “It was a lot, everything from racial abuse to threats to really bad things. I won't light it up, I won't give it more time than it deserves.
“But much of the negativity, malice and racism shows exactly why these performances and why this conversation that has emerged is so necessary. Racism is very real, I've known it before and I definitely know it now. & # 39;
Support: The broadcaster posted a statement on its Twitter page while the excitement continued
He originally started his video by thanking those who had supported diversity and shared positive messages and good wishes, and even those who had taken care of the members' psychological wellbeing after the routine.
Ashley said: “First of all, I would like to thank everyone who supports me and the achievement of Diversity and who have made an effort.
“In all honesty, it's overwhelming the positive response to what we've done. Hundreds of thousands of messages, comments, DMs and interactions on the street.
“There have been 15-16,000 complaints about negativity that bounced back on the performance, but believe me, I'm in the thick of it and negativity is in the minority.
"The positive response was huge. Thank you very much, that everyone who supported and showed love stood by what we did."
Shocking: Ofcom's complaints under Diversity's split rate hit 23,308 Tuesday – and were nearing the most protesting TV moment of the decade
He added, “Everyone who came in and checked that we are okay, thank you too.
& # 39; We are good, we feel positive, proud, happy and confident and we stand by every single decision we have made for this achievement.
“If I'm being honest with you, to be able to stand on stage, put diversity in the spotlight as a judge on the jury, stand up for something and use our art to hold nationwide conversations, what could I do do a creative and an artist ask for more?
"To entertain, to get people to talk, to evoke emotions, that's all I could have asked for. I'm proud and, as I said, I stand by it. Many thanks to everyone who shows their positive attitude."
Sharing his decision to stay positive in the face of racist trolls, he continued, “After this performance everything we saw was, I don't know, sometimes overwhelmingly negative, which is difficult.
"But anyway, like I said, I'm strong and I feel so happy with what we've done. If that's what it takes, that's a price I'm absolutely willing to pay."
Ashley then fully described the dance routine, noting that Diversity gave a "roundup of 2020" with her performance themes such as Lockdown, COVID-19, NHS, George Floyd's death, and Black Live's Matter movement.
"It was layered, it was something we wanted to bring on stage to bring hope, but also not to shy away from difficult conversations and difficult problems that came up," he said of the dance.
“That was precisely why the question was whether Britain's Got Talent was the right platform, one that I just can't get on board with.
“If an artist or creative can't use real, universal subjects to inspire their art and figure out how to express it, what is it about?
Widespread: Britain's Got Talent second semi-finals drew 4.95 million viewers just a week after its first show sparked backlash among viewers
& # 39; Britain & # 39; s Got Talent has been a stage for so many incredible artists, artists and talents eager to express all kinds of emotions and views and stories, human.
“Of course political ideas will flow into performances because they affect us every day, universal things that affect us, that's art; It's an expression of how we are feeling and this phrase of 2020 is just that. & # 39;
He stated that he wanted Diversity's dance to express the “roller coaster of emotions” he and the group had experienced that year, then addressed the portion of the dance dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“What really seemed to relate to people and to arouse, anger and offend people was the fact that we stood up and said that racism is real and that it must change for us in order for us are tolerant because blacks count lives.
“Well, a lot of people were offended by the political nature of this statement, but we never meant to. Black lives were important long before it was anything political or related to a group of people with a statement.
What is Ofcom and what is impartial?
– The Office of Communications, known as Ofcom, is the government-recognized regulator and competition body for the broadcast, telecommunications and postal industries in the United Kingdom.
– Ofcom has powers in the television, radio, telecommunications and postal sectors and any member of the public can lodge a complaint with the agency.
– Ofcom's main decision-making body is the Board of Directors, which sets the strategic direction of the organization. It has a non-executive chairman, executive directors (including the chief executive) and non-executive directors.
– The executive directs the organization and responds to the board. Ofcom's board of directors meets at least once a month (with the exception of August). Agenda, summary notes, and minutes are regularly posted on Ofcom's website.
– Section 5 of the Ofcom Broacasting Code reads “Impartiality and Accuracy”. This is to ensure that messages in any form are reported with the required accuracy and impartiality.
– Specific requirements for impartiality apply to news and other programs, issues of political or industrial controversy, and issues of current public policy
– This means: “Questions of political or industrial controversy are political or industrial issues that politicians, industry and / or the media debate. Issues related to current public policy need not be the subject of debate, but relate to a policy that is up for discussion or already adopted by a local, regional or national government or by bodies appointed by these public authorities To make politics names, for example non-governmental organizations, relevant European institutions, etc. "
– Despite the controversial nature of the dance, Ofcom cleared the performance as follows: "There was no explicit reference to any particular political organization – but a message that blacks' lives matter."
& # 39; Black Lives Matter is a fact. It is and remains a fact. This is what I stand for, this is what each and every one of my team proudly has ready, and that's why we included it in our 2020 round-up. & # 39;
He praised how the Black Lives Matter movement "found its way around the world" and started "the conversation" about racism around the world.
"I am so glad that this performance nearly sparked the conversation to continue," he admitted.
'The fact that it was a medium like dance and was mainstream on a show like Britain's Got Talent is so important.
“Families, schools, houses, friends are now having this conversation about something that is very real and affects so many people.
“I am proud, I am happy and as I said, I would like to thank everyone who has supported us. I don't want this conversation to end. & # 39;
Ashley reiterated his gratitude to supporters who stood by him and Diversity and "sent love" to "each and every one of you who has thrown positive energy or negative energy on me and the group".
Scheduling: For the first time in the show's 13-year history, the semis was recorded, with the second show filmed two weeks ago before the BLM performance by Diversity aired
Got Talent's second semi-final in the UK drew 4.95 million viewers just a week after the first show sparked a backlash from viewers.
Despite the controversy, BGT only saw a drop of 350,000 viewers on the previous week's broadcast when it returned to screens on Saturday.
The numbers continued to be a strong result for BGT as it had more than double the viewership as its main competitor on The Last Night of the Proms slot, which had its own controversy and only drew 2.1 million viewers.
At the peak on Saturday, 5.7 million viewers tuned in to BGT.
Last week's BGT drew 5.3 million viewers when the show returned to screens after the semifinals were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time in the show's 13-year history, the semis was recorded, with the second show filmed two weeks ago before the BLM performance of Diversity aired.
Memorable: Diversity's BLM performance met with mixed reactions, with some calling the display a "political statement" and others calling the dance "powerful".
Ashley's wife, Francesca, used social media to share her own thoughts about the negative reaction of some viewers. She said the answer is not to be afraid of problems.
Sharing clips from the performance, she wrote, & # 39; On Saturday, @ashleybanjogram and @diversityofficial performed this routine on @bgt, 11 years after winning the show. To call this a "dance routine" is an understatement, to say the least.
& # 39; This piece was an interpretation of the unprecedented events of 2020, from Covid 19 to BLM, from clapping for caregivers as a nation to coming together in our own families and finding the light in the darkest time.
"Some may find this uncomfortable, they may find it inappropriate, but shying away from problems will not result in a change that is so long overdue."
She added, “When I saw this, I couldn't be more proud of my husband.
Rose and Micah will see this and when they are old enough to understand they will be proud that their father created something so poignant and used his voice to stand up for what is right. We are a race, humanity. & # 39;
Answer: Ashley wrote back: & # 39; 1. They do not represent or speak for the broad British public. 2. Silence was and never will be an option. 3. Change is inevitable … get used to it & # 39;
During their performance, the dance troupe, dressed in riot gear, recited a viral poem about the BLM movement before a Policemen put a hand over Banjo's throat as he lay on the floor to the song I Can & # 39; t Breathe.
After the performance, Banjo said to MailOnline, & # 39; This performance is very special to me and the rest of Diversity.
& # 39; 2020 was an incredible moment in history for both positive and negative reasons.
& # 39; We wanted to use the platform we were given to have our voices heard, express how we felt through the events of this year and think about how we might look back on them in the future … We call it Review 2020. & # 39;
After Floyd's death earlier this year, thousands took to the streets around the world demanding that the officers involved be arrested for their crime.
Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged with second degree murder in June, while officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were also charged with complicity in second degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
Statement: Ashley also wrote, "So much to say … but I'll just let the show do the talking …" just hours after the performance aired after some audience members had a backlash
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