Ashley Banjo challenges Jim Davidson over ‘disgusting’ Diversity remarks in sit-down interview

Davidson eventually walked out of the interview, calling it a ‘no win’

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 20 October 2021 12:34
Jim Davidson walks out of interview after Ashley Banjo challenges him over ‘racist’ comments

Ashley Banjo has held Jim Davidson accountable for “disgusting” comments he made about Diversity in a tense sit-down interview.

In Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White, which aired on ITV on Tuesday (19 October), the dancer revealed that Davidson agreed to have a “real, direct, honest” conversation “after weeks of negotiation”.

In September 2020, Davidson, 68, faced backlash after criticising the dance troupe’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent, which paid tribute to Black Lives Matter following the killing of George Floyd.

The former presenter posted a video titled “Who Needs Diversity?”, calling the appearance “ridiculous” and “indulgent”.

Banjo told Davidson: “As far as I’m concerned, that video you made about Diversity it was… it was racist in every way. Every single way.”

Davidson responded: “If I was talking about you it would be personal rather than be racist,” to which Banjo said: “It was both. It was personal and racist. I’m from this country, I love this country, I’m from a mixed-race background.”

Here, Davidson claimed he “supports” Black Lives Matter, stating: “I don’t support Black Lives Matter the movement.”

When Banjo asked Davidson if he now believed the video he uploaded to be racist, he replied: “No, you just happened to be black – it was about you.” He also said he didn’t think the performance was appropriate for a “late entertainment show”.

Jim Davidson eventually walked out of the ‘no-win’ interview

Banjo pointed out to Davidson that it is wrong to mention a black man’s ethnic identity when referring to his crime, which the dancer said he had done in the video. “Why was his colour relevant?” Banjo asked, to which Davidson told him he was “talking b****cks”, stating: “Oh Jesus, this is f***ing crazy”.

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Davidson, growing flustered, then accidentally referred to Ashley as “George”, saying: “I beg your pardon; it’s on my mind at the moment.”

He then decided to call time on the interview, calling it a “no-win”.

Removing his microphone and walking out, he told Banjo: “Stick to the dancing; you’re brilliant.”

Disappointed with the outcome, Banjo told Davidson: “Don’t walk out because I’m asking you the hard questions.”

Diversity star Ashley Banjo told Jim Davidson his remarks were ‘racist’

The Britain’s Got Talent performance saw Banjo pinned down by a police officer, with the group going on to take the knee on the words: “Black Lives Matter.”

More than 24,000 complaints were made to Ofcom after the episode, with the regulator eventually rejecting them.

In a statement, 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 subjects, and in our view, its central message was a call for social cohesion and unity.

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“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.”

Diversity’s Ashley Banjo subject to racist abuse after 'BGT's Black Lives Matter routine

Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White is available to stream on ITV Hub.

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