Diversity’s Ashley and Jordan Banjo step out in Salford as they’re seen for the first time since Ofcom announced they won’t investigate BLM routine on BGT despite 24,500 complaints
- Last week, Ofcom announced they will not investigate the 24,500 complaints made concerning the dance aired on September 5
- ITV rolled out full-page ads in solidarity with Diversity after their BLM-inspired routine prompted complaints
- The latest episode of BGT sparked 1,675 Ofcom complaints from viewers after judge Alesha Dixon wore a Black Lives Matter necklace on the show
Diversity’s Ashley and Jordan Banjo stepped out in Salford on Friday as they were seen for the first time since their pre-recorded Black Lives Matter routine on Britain’s Got Talent sparked controversy among some fans.
The brothers, aged 31 and 27, sported protective face masks and held onto garment covers as they arrived at Media City.
Earlier this month, Ofcom announced they will not investigate the 24,500 complaints made concerning the dance aired on September 5.
Casual outing: Diversity’s Ashley and Jordan Banjo stepped out in Salford on Friday as they were seen for the first time since their pre-recorded Black Lives Matter routine on BGT
BGT judge Ashley, who is filling in for Simon Cowell as he recovers from a back injury, sported a pale blue jumper and baggy cargo trousers, which coordinated with his khaki green hat.
The Greatest Dancer host Jordan, meanwhile, looked equally casual in a Children Of Thanos hooded sweatshirt, denim jeans and a grey beanie.
Earlier this week, the TV and radio presenter shared judge David Walliams’ reaction to the troupe’s performance.
Low-key: The brothers, aged 31 and 27, sported protective face masks and held onto garment covers as they arrived at Media City
Powerful move: Earlier this month, Ofcom announced they will not investigate the 24,500 complaints made concerning the dance aired on September 5 (Ashley pictured)
Jordan said the comedian – who is yet to publicly comment on their performance – ‘loved’ their set and insisted he’s not offended by his choice to remain silent on the matter.
The Kiss FM Breakfast Show star said in a new interview: ‘Ashley has been there with David and we know his reaction, he loved the routine and thought it was wicked.
‘No one should be made to have to scream and shout out or anything – you agree or you don’t and you know that it is what it is. No one should be made to feel guilty for saying something or not saying something.’
The choreographer also shed light on the public’s overwhelmingly ‘positive’ response to their powerful set as he told Metro: ‘There has genuinely been so much positivity face-to-face, so much positivity online and it just shocks me when I see that many complaints – and then I go ‘hang on’ that’s relatively such a small amount.’
‘He thought it was wicked!’ Earlier this week, the Kiss FM presenter shared judge David Walliams’ reaction to the troupe’s performance (pictured in January)
‘No one should be made to have to shout out’: The host said the comedian (pictured L) ‘loved’ their set and insisted he’s not offended by his choice to remain silent on the matter
Different approach: Funnyman David, 49, is the only judge who has not spoken about the dance publicly. Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden have both defended the set
The most recent episode of Britain’s Got Talent has racked up 1,675 Ofcom complaints, after Alesha Dixon was seen wearing a Black Lives Matter necklace.
Show judge Alesha, 41, donned the statement jewellery, one week after Diversity’s set was also subject to an avalanche of complaints.
However, while her choice of jewellery left some viewers disgruntled, the number of complaints pales in comparison to the 24,500 filed following Diversity’s performance the week before.
Complaints: The most recent episode of Britain’s Got Talent has racked up 1,675 Ofcom complaints, after singer Alesha, 41, was seen wearing a Black Lives Matter necklace
An Ofcom spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.’
Statement jewellery: The judge was seen sporting the statement jewellery on Saturday
After she was shown on the ITV show wearing the BLM necklace, Alesha hit back at critics as she showed off her jewellery item in an Instagram video posted on Sunday.
Posting a video of herself getting her make-up done, the judge slowly zoomed in on the three-tier gold necklace with the large letters BLM on it.
Alesha’s stylist, Laury Smith, also shared snaps of the star’s outfit to her own Instagram account revealing that she wore items of jewellery by Hannah Martin, MAM Originals and Veiled Rebel.
ITV has ‘stood with Diversity’ as they featured adverts in national newspapers in support of the controversial dance.
ITV are believed to have spent around £260,000 on the newspaper ads with full-page monochrome pieces in The Metro costing £36,461 and £27,700 in The Mirror.
Alesha was one of many who praised ITV for standing by the dance troupe. The singer took to Instagram to share a snap of the advert and gushed over how ‘proud’ she was with them.
In her caption, she wrote: ‘Well done @ITV for standing with Diversity! Proud of you! This image is in all of the national newspapers today.’
Ashley also shared his gratitude with ITV for standing by Diversity over their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance.
Making a statement: ITV rolled out full-page ads in solidarity with Diversity as Ofcom complaints reach 24,500 over the groups BLM-inspired routine. Ashley pictured
The poster showed a poignant black and white image of Ashley taking the knee alongside the words: ‘We are changed by what we see. Just as we are changed when we are seen. ITV stand with Diversity.’
Sharing a snap of the same advert, which shows him kneeling in black-and-white, he wrote: ‘This is what change looks like.
‘@ITV stand with @Diversity and we’ve never been prouder. This is in all the national papers today. Thank you again to everyone that has supported us.’
The performance has now become the second-most complained about television moment of the decade, but a spokesperson for the government-approved regulatory body has confirmed to MailOnline no action will be taken.
The representative said: ‘We carefully considered a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important.
‘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.
Grateful: The singer took to Instagram to share a snap of the advert, and wrote: ‘Well done @ITV for standing with Diversity’
Thankful: Ashley also shared his gratitude with ITV for standing by Diversity over their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance
‘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 a message that the lives of black people matter.’
Troupe leader Ashley reacted to the news on Instagram as he shared the statement and penned: ‘Creativity is always a leap of faith. All I did what was what felt right and I’d do it 100 times over… Sending love to everyone that stood by us’.
The routine, which narrated the death of black man George Floyd beneath the knee of a white police officer, divided fans after it aired during the live show.
Decision: A spokesperson for government-approved regulatory body Ofcom confirmed to MailOnline no action will be taken for Diversity’s BLM-inspired routine
In a statement, ITV told MailOnline that their performance offered an ‘authentic, heartfelt’ response to the issues of 2020 after viewers criticised the routine for ‘politicising’ the show.
They said: ‘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.
‘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.’
Support: The broadcaster shared a statement on their Twitter page as the furore continued
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