Ofcom rejects 309 complaints that Dave’s Brit Awards performance was ‘racist’

Rapper performed alongside Stormzy at event, before taking home Album of the Year prize

Adam White
Tuesday 10 March 2020 09:40
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BRIT Awards: Dave calls Boris Johnson 'a real racist' during performance of 'Black'

Ofcom has rejected more than 300 complaints made about a performance by rapper Dave at February’s Brit Awards, which was accused of being “racist”.

A total of 309 complaints were filed by viewers following Dave’s performance of his track “Black”.

Lyrics in his reworked version of the song included criticism of the media’s differing treatments of Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, and a salute to those killed in the Grenfell fire.

He also added lyrics directly condemning Boris Johnson, rapping: “The truth is our prime minister is a real racist.”

At the time the complaints were made, Ofcom confirmed that a number of viewers had perceived the performance as “racist”.

Now the regulator has said that they have rejected the complaints, explaining that the performance was “likely to be within most viewers’ expectations of this well-established awards ceremony”.

They added that it is “not uncommon for artists to express personal political views during their performances”.

Shortly after Dave’s performance, home secretary Priti Patel called the lyrics “highly inappropriate”, and defended Johnson against accusations of racism.

“He is absolutely not a racist and I’m afraid that is very much a generalisation that has been made by rapper Dave, and I just disagree with it,” Patel told BBC Breakfast.

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