BRITAIN’S Got Talent has been hit with a staggering 21,673 complaints over Diversity’s Black Lives Matter routine.
The number of objections to the TV watchdog has continued to rocket despite the dance, which saw a white police officer kneeling on Ashley Banjo, taking place more than a week ago.
Ofcom revealed the new figure to HOAR hours after Ashley explained he has been the victim of racist abuse since the performance.
The TV star posted a gallery of horrible messages he had been sent but insisted “every complaint was worth it”.
The dance referenced the death of George Floyd by a police officer in the US and saw backing dancers dressed in riot gear.
The group, who themselves were contestants on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2009, also took the knee partway through the performance.
Diversity’s powerful performance is on course to be the most complained-about moment in a decade if objections continue to be made.
The first is Roxanne Pallett’s Celebrity Big Brother ‘punchgate’ drama with former Corrie star Ryan Thomas which racked up 25,327 complaints.
Ashley, who is the show’s stand-in judge, has thanked his critics for proving that it was a necessary performance.
He tweeted: “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.”
Meanwhile, Ashley’s brother Jordan fought back tears over the “horrible” complaints, speaking on his Kiss Radio show he said it was “genuinely sad”.
The 27-year-old said: “Of course you get some critiques but normally it’s focused on the dance. But this one was different, it was really important, it was special to us.
“We are all about positivity and love and we got so much positivity and love back from this one.
“But we also got bombarded with messages and articles of horrible stuff about us, about our families, about how even now Diversity not diverse enough because there’s only five white people in it.”
Getting emotional, he added: “I can’t speak for anyone else it’s sad, it’s sad, genuinely.”
Meanwhile, Perri hit back at one critic telling them to “get in the bin”.
While the performance ignited outrage from some BGT viewers, others said the “powerful” routine had moved them to tears.
One wrote: “Powerful and poignant and thought provoking. What you all did was OUTSTANDING.”
Another tweeted: “Just amazing powerful performance! Moved me to tears. You guys are just THE BEST!!!”
A third posted: “Keep doing the right thing. This piece was SO powerful.”
Diversity performed their spectacular trademark spinning dance moves in front of backing dancers dressed as riot police with shields.
Ashley, who was a judge at the weekend in place of the injured Simon Cowell, opened the piece by reciting a viral poem The Great Realisation by the singer Tomfoolery, which is about the BLM movement and police brutality.
The performance also addressed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, capitalism, and the growth of delivery services like Amazon
It was branded “powerful” by host Dec Donnelly moments after it ended.
After debuting the moving routine, Ashley said: “This performance is extremely special to me and the rest of Diversity.
“2020 has been an incredible moment in history for both positive and negative reasons.
“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.”