The troupe performed during the semi-final (Saturday September 5) and its dance was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
What did Ashley Banjo say about the BGT backlash?
In a heartfelt message, Ashley took to Instagram to thank fans for their support alongside screenshots of headlines about the Ofcom complaints.
As a result, he said he was “overwhelmed” by the show of support.
He said: “I’m so grateful and overwhelmed by all of the love and support but also by the amount of conversation this performance has thrown up.
“2020 has been such a historical year.
“One day we will look back and realise it was the start of real change…
“Sending out nothing but love and positivity to everyone reading this post.”
Why was there controversy?
Ashley, 31, stood in to replace head judge Simon Cowell after the mogul broke his back in an electric bike accident.
And, during Saturday’s semi-final, he joined fellow Diversity troupe mates in a powerful on-stage routine.
One part of the dance showed Ashley knelt on by a police officer which referenced to the death of George Floyd in the US.
Mr Floyd died after white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
The routine also contained a narrated line, which said: “What we thought we knew, some clearly didn’t. Black Lives Matter.”
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that 1,121 complaints were made to TV watchdog Ofcom.
So much to say… But I’ll Just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages of Love and support – Thank you 🖤 For the thousands of messages of hate and ignorance – Thank you. You highlight exactly what needs to change. Sending nothing but love to you all 🙏🏽🇬🇧 #Diversity pic.twitter.com/3kP0ymUj88
— Ashley Banjo (@AshleyBanjo) September 6, 2020
Ashley hit back at complaints
As a result, a BGT spokesperson commented: “Diversity’s performance offered their take on the extraordinary events of 2020 opening up important topics of conversation.
“The show was compiled for a family audience.”
Soon after, Ashley took to Twitter to thank fans and slam those who had moaned.
“So much to say,” his tweet began.
“But I’ll just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages of Love and support – Thank you.”
“For the thousands of messages of hate and ignorance – Thank you.
“You highlight exactly what needs to change. Sending nothing but love to you all.”