BGT star Ashley Banjo was ‘scared to go anywhere’ after he received abuse amid the Black Lives Matter controversy.
Ashley, 32, and Diversity performed a powerful routine on the show inspired by the BLM movement.
But it didn’t go down well with a section of viewers, who subsequently complained to Ofcom.
Why was BGT star Ashley Banjo scared to go out?
Speaking to GQ magazine, Ashley said the routine had “caused a visceral reaction” with people.
During the dance, he and fellow troupe members re-enacted George Floyd’s murder in the US.
This led to Ofcom receiving over 20,000 complaints as those people thought it wasn’t appropriate for a family show.
Not only that, but Ashley himself received online abuse, including vile threats.
What did Ashley Banjo say in the interview?
Things got so bad that Ashley began to fear unwanted attention outside his front door.
He said it was “a lot to deal with”.
Will it be safe to go here or go there?
“There were points when I was genuinely worried, you know, points when I would think to myself, ‘Will it be safe to go here or go there?'” he told the magazine.
“Even now, you know, sometimes I’ll look and go, ‘That could be a group of people that really disagrees with me’; you don’t know how they’re going to [react] when you put your neck out on the line for what you believe in.”
What kind of support did Ashley receive?
Despite the complaints, there was also much support.
Immediately after the performance, Ashley reached out to those who took the time to message him.
“So much to say… But I’ll just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages of love and support – thank you,” he said.
“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.”
What else has BGT been receiving complaints for?
Last Saturday’s BGT semi-final (Saturday October 3) also attracted around 1,000 complaints.
Both head judge Amanda Holden and contestant Nabil Abdulrashid were the main reasons.
Nabil’s comedy routine received some backlash over the jokes he used.
As part of his routine, Nabil said: “People watching will think that it’s another one of those Black Lives Matter guys doing jokes about stop and search.”
“No, it’s a joke about being fat,” he continued.
“Big Narstie and I are both fat, we just both happen to be black too. Don’t throw in the race card guys!”
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