Diversity's polarizing British performance of Got Talent is still receiving complaints nearly two weeks after it originally aired. The TV regulatory authority Ofcom counts to date 24,041.
The routine, which narrated the pointless death of Black George Floyd under the knee of a white cop, shared fans after it aired during the live show on Saturday, September 5th.
The negative feedback 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.
Controversial: Diversity's polarizing British performance by Got Talent is still receiving complaints almost two weeks later, and TV regulator Ofcom receives 24,041 to date
ITV stood by Ashley Banjo, leader of the diversity troupe, after the performance generated a huge response.
In a statement, the broadcaster MailOnline announced that their performance offered an "authentic, warm" 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.
Hard hits: The routine that narrated the death of Black George Floyd under the knee of a white cop shared after it aired during the live show on Saturday September 5th
Support: ITV supported British Got Talent judge Ashley Banjo and his diversity dance group
"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 looking into the complaints against our broadcasting rules but have yet to decide whether or not to conduct an investigation."
Support: ITV later shared its statement on its Twitter page
Ashley recently broke his silence on the routine of diversity in the first semi-final and welcomed the conversation that started the complaints.
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;
Defiant: Ashley recently broke his silence on the routine of diversity in the first semi-final and welcomed the conversation that started the complaints
He originally started his video by thanking those who had supported diversity and shared positive messages and congratulations, 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, the positive response to what we've done has been overwhelming. 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. Everyone who supported and showed love stood by what we did."
Shocking: Ofcom's complaints after Diversity's split 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 is all I could have asked for. I am 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 still, 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's exactly 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 themes to inspire their art and figure out how to express it, what is it about?
& # 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 feel and this phrase of 2020 is just that. '
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.
& # 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 threw 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 among 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 were still a strong result for BGT as it had more than twice as many viewers as its main competitor on The Last Night of the Proms slot, which had its own controversy and only attracted 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 responses, 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 carers 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 bring about the long overdue change."
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 group, 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.
Statement: Ashley also wrote last Sunday, just hours after the show aired, "So much to say … But I'll just let the show talk …" after some audience members had a backlash
& # 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.