ashley Banjo Diversity BGT

BGT: Ratings ‘drop by 500,000 a week after Diversity controversy’

However, four million people still tuned in

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BGT ratings reportedly dropped by 500,000 one week after Diversity sparked backlash for their performance.

The dance group, which includes stand-in judge Ashley Banjo, faced criticism for their Black Lives Matter performance.

The powerful routine, which referenced the death of George Floyd in America, sparked over 15,000 Ofcom complaints.

BGT Diversity
BGT ratings reportedly dropped by 500,000 one week after Diversity sparked backlash (Credit: ITV)

Read more: BGT: Ashley Banjo supported by Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon after backlash over performance

According to the Mail Online, the show‘s second semi-final – which aired last night (September 12) – pulled in 4.8 million viewers.

Last weekend saw 5.3 million viewers tune in.

It comes after some viewers vowed to boycott the programme after Diversity’s dance, which they said shouldn’t have been on the family show.

The performance recreated a white police officer kneeling on Ashley.

Mr Floyd died after white officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes.

Ashley Banjo on BGT
The performance referenced the death of George Floyd (Credit: ITV)

The routine also featured backing dancers dressed in riot gear while the group also took the knee during it.

Ashley hits back

Ashley responded to criticism and insisted “silence was never and will never be an option”.

Meanwhile, he added on Twitter: “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.”

Ashley Banjo
Despite the backlash, Ashley and Diversity have received praise from many viewers (Credit:

Despite the criticism, many viewers felt tearful over the routine and praised the group.

One person said on Twitter: “You are AMAZING – what a powerful message on BGT tonight.

“You had me in tears and here’s to #BlackLivesMatter, let’s keep fighting this fight for equality.”

Another wrote: “That @Diversity_Tweet performance on #BGT has me in tears. So powerful, so timely, so perfect. Thank you @AshleyBanjo for your art.”

A third added: “@Diversity_Tweet always get me in tears, their dance on #BGT was SO powerful, they are amazing!”

Read more: BGT: Ant McPartlin gets choked up over emotional dog performance

Meanwhile, Ashley recently told The Sun: “This performance is extremely special to me and the rest of Diversity.

“We wanted to use the platform we’ve been given to make our voices heard, express how the events of this year have made us feel and think about how we might look back on them in the future… We call it hindsight 2020.”

An ITV spokesman 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.”

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