ITV takes out full-page ads in every national newspaper to show support for Diversity amid race row

Ashley Banjo, leader of dance troupe, said he has ‘never been prouder’

Ellie Harrison
Saturday 19 September 2020 16:41 BST
Diversity take the knee during Black Lives Matter themed Britain's Got Talent performance

Diversity’s Ashley Banjo said he has “never been prouder” after ITV took out full-page adverts in every national newspaper to show support for the dance group’s Black Lives Matter-themed performance.

The Britain’s Got Talent dance, which was inspired by the death of George Floyd, showed group leader Banjo being pinned down by a police officer, with the troupe taking the knee at the words: “Black Lives Matter.”  

Ofcom received about 24,500 complaints over the dance, with many viewers criticising the routine for being “too political” for a Saturday night entertainment programme and condemning it for being racist against white people, as well as portraying the police in a negative light.

ITV responded to criticism of the performance by taking out the full-page adverts in all national newspapers on Saturday (19 September).

The adverts feature a photo from Diversity’s performance, with the caption: “We are changed by what we see. Just as we are changed when we are seen.”

Another message on the image reads: “ITV stand with Diversity.”

Banjo then wrote on Instagram: “This is what change looks like. ITV stand with Diversity and we’ve never been prouder.”

Earlier this week, the broadcaster defended Diversity’s “heartfelt” performance and Ofcom rejected the complaints, saying the dance’s central message “was a call for social cohesion and unity”.

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