The 2021 Virgin Media BAFTA must-see moment went to Diversity for the dance troupe’s powerful Black Lives Matter performance on Britain’s Got Talent back in September 2020.
Following the performance — which received 30,000 viewer complaints to Ofcom — Diversity leader Ashley Banjo has been vocal about the racism the group received since. Accepting the BAFTA TV Award with his brother, Jordan, Ashley delivered a powerful speech thanking both Diversity’s supporters as well as those who complained, for it showed the prevalence of racism in the UK.
“Thank you to everyone who stood by us and every phone call, text, comment, DM, you guys make a difference to what was a really dark time being in the storm of 30,000 complaints. A torrent of racially charged abuse, threats — all of it. It was a dark time, but that support made a difference,” Banjo said.
“In a way, I have to say thank you to the people that complained, the people that did pour that abuse out there online, because you showed the truth. You showed exactly why this performance and this moment was necessary. But for all of those people, just take a look, because as much as there are so many conversations and so much that needs to change, this is what change looks like,” he said.
Banjo ended his speech by saying: “For me, this is about not representing the minority, it felt like we weren’t at the time, but standing here right now, this represents the majority; thank you all so, so much.”
Watch Ashley and Jordan’s speech in full above.
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