Ofcom will not 'formally investigate' Diversity's BGT performance

UK's competition authority for broadcasting, Ofcom, won't formally investigate a performance by Diversity on Britain's Got Talent.

The watchdog received approximately 24,500 complaints about the performance - aired on September 5.

Concerns were raised that the themes of violence and racism were not appropriate for family viewing, that it supported political organisation Black Lives Matter and that it was racist towards white people.

Diversity's routine saw a man in a police uniform kneel on star Ashley Banjo, echoing the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd, while other dancers performed with police riot shields.

The group dance to a recital of an adapted version of the poem The Great Realisation by British poet Tom Roberts or ‘Tom Foolery’.

Ofcom 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 subject, and in our view its central message was a call for social cohesion and unity.

"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.

"We will not be taking this case on to formal investigation."

Ashley Banjo is the new judge on ITV's Britain's Got Talent. Credit: PA

Meanwhile, ITV has said it “stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity’s performance on BGT."

In a video message on Instagram, Banjo previously said that while “the headlines have been about the complaints and the negativity, the negativity is the minority”.

“The positive response has been huge. So thank you so much to everyone who has supported, shown love, and stood by what we did.”

Banjo, who was standing in on the show for Simon Cowell as he recovers from his electric bike accident, added: “We stand by every single decision we made with that performance… I’m proud.”