JORDAN Banjo has defended David Walliams’ silence over Diversity’s Britain’s Got Talent performance.
The dance troupe came under scrutiny for the BLM dance that they performed on the popular ITV talent show, which sparked over 24,000 Ofcom complaints from people who didn’t agree with it being aired.
The dance depicted the moments before the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in the US in May after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
And although Diversity got support from the likes of Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden, David, 49, is yet to speak out about the controversial dance routine which saw a police officer kneeling on Ashley Banjo.
But Jordan Banjo, 27, has confirmed to the Metro that the comedian has completely defended the dance and that he thought it was “wicked”.
He said: “Ashley has been there with David and we know his reaction, he loved the routine and thought it was wicked.
“No one should be made to have to scream and shout out or anything – you agree or you don’t and you know that it is what it is.
“No one should be made to feel guilty for saying something or not saying something.”
Fellow Diversity star Perri Kiely also told the publication that although there has been a lot of negativity about the dance, there are still a lot of people who agree with everything it stands for.
The 24-year-old said: “There has genuinely been so much positivity face-to-face, so much positivity online and it just shocks me when I see that many complaints – and then I go ‘hang on’ that’s relatively such a small amount as million of people watched it.
“It has got loads of views on YouTube and of course, some people said some negative stuff but relatively most people loved the performance.”
The Kiss FM radio presenter has had people have come up to him in the street to show their support.
“It is people that you wouldn’t expect, people would be approaching you (in the street) and you’re not sure what they’re going to say but it’s all been 100 per cent positive.
“The comments have been “I completely stand by you guys” – “ I am fully with you” and I don’t feel like anyone is going to come up and say anything negative,” he added.
Ashley Banjo’s fellow judges have certainly shown their support as the drama has unfolded over the past few weeks.
Three days after the performance aired on TV, Alesha Dixon slammed trolls for complaining about the dance with a comment on Instagram saying “kiss my black a*s!”
The singer, 41, caused further controversy when she wore a BLM necklace during the semi-finals last Saturday – which has received whopping 1,901 complaints.
Amanda Holden also stuck up for Ashley and the gang during an appearance on Good Morning Britain.
She told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: “It is extraordinary. I think the number of negative complaints means this conversation is right and needs to happen.
“What hasn’t been reported is the positive response – hundreds of thousands of them. We stand by them and stand by Ashley Banjo 100 per cent.”
ITV have also shown their support for the street dance group.
An ITV spokesperson told HOAR Online: “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.”
And telly watchdog Ofcom have backed them too.
Last week they told HOAR today that it will not launch a probe into Diversity’s performance, despite the backlash.
A spokesperson for the watchdog said: “We concluded that the programme did not raise issues which warranted investigation under our broadcasting rules.
“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 subjects, 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.
“There was no explicit reference to any particular political organisation – but rather a message that the lives of black people matter.”