The UK media regulator, Ofcom will not investigate the controversial Black Lives Matter-inspired dance routine by Diversity on Britain’s Got Talent TV show.
The four-minute routine generated complaints from viewers and trolls of hateful and racist backlash for the leader of Diversity, Ashley Banjo and Alesha Dixon – a black judge on the show who voice out her support for the routine.
The watchdog says the subject of the complaints included concern that the themes of violence and racism were inappropriate for family viewing, that it expressed support for the political organisation Black Lives Matter, that it encouraged violence against the police, and that it was racist towards white people.
However, following thorough assessment, Ofcomconcluded the dance did not raise issues which warranted investigation under its broadcasting rules.
Part of the routine showed a dancer portraying a white police officer kneeling on the chest of Ashley Banjo, echoing the killing of George Floyd in the US earlier this year. The dance troupe also took a knee against racism and police brutality.
The report found that “the performance contained no content which was racist, unsuitably violent or otherwise inappropriate in the context of this programme”.
Earlier ITV had responded to complaints by standing by its decision to broadcast the routine.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the broadcaster described BGT as “an inclusive show”, which “showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms”.
“ITV stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity’s performance on BGT,” they continued.
ITV have stood by the performance, arguing that it opened up “important topics of conversation” and met the criteria for family viewing.