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Ofcom dismisses Britain's Got Talent complaints

Ofcom dismisses Britain's Got Talent complaints
© ITV
Ofcom decides not to pursue complaints about Diversity's performance on Britain's Got Talent.

TV regulator Ofcom has decided not to pursue complaints about Diversity's performance on Britain's Got Talent earlier this month.

Around 24,500 viewers had complained about the dance troupe's routine, which was themed around the Black Lives Matter movement and involved a white man dressed as a policeman leaning on Ashley Banjo's neck.

While the hard-hitting nature of the performance drew much praise on social media, some criticised the group for making a political statement on the long-running entertainment show.

Announcing its decision today, Ofcom said that viewers had variously complained that the routine was racist towards white people, was unsuitable for a family audience, encouraged violence against the police and expressed support for the Black Lives Matter political organisation.

"We considered that the content was clearly artistic expression representing Diversity's response to the events of 2020," it said in its ruling. "Ofcom considers that freedom of expression is particularly important in the context of artistic works."

The ruling continued: "We considered that the portrayals of encounters between anti-racism protests and the police in the performance were limited and symbolic in nature.

"The performance included a dancer kicking one riot shield, which then knocked over the line of riot shields one after the other. This was followed by the performers representing police officers removing their helmets and some dancing alongside other. dancers for the remainder of the performance.

"In our view the depiction of recent anti-racism protests in the routine did not in any way condone or glamorise violent behaviour."

Earlier this week ITV issued a statement defending BGT, describing it as "an inclusive show, which showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms".

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Diversity perform on the first semi-final of BGT
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