Diversity's polarising Britain's Got Talent performance is still receiving complaints almost two weeks after originally airing, with TV regulator Ofcom counting 24,041 to date.
The routine, which narrated the senseless death of black man George Floyd beneath the knee of a white police officer, divided fans after it aired during the live show on Saturday September 5th.
The negative response has made it the second most complained about TV moment of all time, just behind Roxanne's Pallett's notorious appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, with a record 25,237 objections.
Controversial: Diversity's polarising Britain's Got Talent performance is still receiving complaints almost two weeks on, with TV regulator Ofcom receiving 24,041 to date
ITV have stood by Diversity troupe leader Ashley Banjo after the performance provoked a heated response.
In a statement the broadcaster told MailOnline that their performance offered an 'authentic, heartfelt' response to the issues of 2020 after viewers criticised the routine for 'politicising' the show.
They said: 'Britain's Got Talent has always been an inclusive show, which showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms and ITV stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity's performance on BGT.
Hard hitting: The routine, which narrated the death of black man George Floyd beneath the knee of a white police officer, divided fans after it aired during the live show on Saturday September 5th
Support: ITV have stood by Britain's Got Talent judge Ashley Banjo after his Black Lives Matter-inspired performance with dance troupe Diversity sparked 23,308 Ofcom complaints
'Ashley and the group are a great example of the talent, creativity and diversity of modern Britain and their performance was an authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020.'
On Friday, an Ofcom spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline that BGT had received 15,500 complaints. Last Monday, the figure stood at 1,121.
The representative added: 'We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.'
Defiant: It comes after Ashley also brushed off the backlash following his group's Black Lives Matter-inspired performance with a family snap on Monday
It comes after Ashley also brushed off the backlash following his group's Black Lives Matter-inspired performance with a family snap on Monday.
The dancer, 31, took to Instagram to share a sweet snap of his daughter Rose, 19 months, and baby son Micah, five months, who he shares with wife Francesca Abbott, while he completed 'dad duties' by taking them to the park.
He captioned the shot: 'There's been a lot of negativity recently so I thought I'd lighten the mood with a picture of me completing some dad duties... One child is brown and one is white... That should confuse the racists.'
Ashley was every inch the doting dad as he enjoyed a day at the park with his two children, after sharing the cute family snap to 'lighten the mood.'
Support: ITV later shared their statement to their Twitter page
Family: The dancer shared the snap with his two children Rose, 19 months, and Micah, five months, who he shares with wife Francesca Abbott (pictured together)
Hitting back: In the caption, Ashley highlighted that 'one child is brown and one is white' in a bold message to the naysayers
Elsewhere Ashley's Diversity teammate Jordan Banjo also took to Instagram to hit back at a vile troll following the performance.
Re-posting a message claiming they should go and 'live in Africa,' he wrote: 'And people wanted to complain about us? People wanted to complain and say there isn't an issue. Makes me sick.'
Controversy: Meanwhile viewer complaints following Diversity's performance earlier this month continued to soar to 23,308 on Tuesday
Confident: Ashley later took to social media to share a backstage snap during filming, as complaints soared
Ashley recently broke his silence about Diversity's routine during the first semi-final, and welcomed the conversation the complaints have started.
The dancer addressed both the positive and negative response in a candid video as he revealed he and the group have been the target of 'racial abuse and threats' following the dance.
In the statement, he said: 'It's been a lot, everything from racial abuse to threats, to just some really nasty stuff. I'm not going to give light to it, I'm not going to give it any more time than it deserves.
'But a lot of the negativity, the nastiness, and the racism shows exactly why these performances and exactly why this conversation that has arisen is so necessary. Racism is very real, I've known it before and I definitely know it now.'
Defiant: Ashley recently broke his silence about Diversity's routine during the first semi-final, and welcomed the conversation the complaints have started
He originally began his video by thanking those who had supported Diversity and had shared positive messages and well wishes, even mentioning those who had checked in on the members mental well-being during the aftermath of the routine.
Ashley said: 'Firstly I want to say thank you to all the people who are supportive of me and Diversity's performance, who've reached out.
'Honestly it's overwhelming the positive reaction to what we did. Hundreds of thousands of messages, comments, DMs and interactions in the street.
'There's been what 15-16,000 complaints of negativity thrown back at the performance, but trust me I'm right in the centre of it and the negativity is in the minority.
'The positive response has been huge so thank you so much everyone who has supported and shown love, stood by what we did.'
Shocking: Ofcom complaints following Diversity's divisive set reached 23,308 on Tuesday - and edged closer to becoming the most protested TV moment of the decade
He added: 'Everyone who reached out who checked if we were alright, thank you to you as well.
'We are good though, we are feeling positive, proud, happy confident and we stand by every single decision that we made for that performance.
'If I'm honest with you to be able to stand on the very stage that launched Diversity into the limelight as a judge on the panel, standing up for something, using our art to spark nationwide conversation, what more could I ask for as a creative and an artist?
'To entertain, to get people talking, to cause emotion, that is everything I could have asked for so I am proud and like I said I stand by it so thank you to everyone showing their positivity.'
Sharing his decision to remain positive in the face of racist Trolls, he went on: 'After this performance everything that we've seen, I don't know, it's been overwhelmingly negative sometimes, which is tough.
'But still, like I said, [I'm] standing strong and feeling so happy with what we've done, if that's what it takes that's a price I'm absolutely willing to pay.'
Ashley then described the dance routine in full, stipulating that Diversity were giving a 'summary of 2020' with their performance tackling topics like lockdown, COVID-19, the NHS, George Floyd's death and the Black Lives Matter movement.
'It was layered, it was something we wanted to bring to the stage to bring hope but also not to shy away from difficult conversations and difficult issues that have arisen,' he said of the dance.
'That's exactly why the question whether Britain's Got Talent was the right platform was one that I just can't get on board with.
'If an artist or creative can't use real world issues, universal issues, to inspire their art and come through how they express them then what's the point?
'Britain's Got Talent has been a stage for so many incredible performers, artists and talents who want to express all different kinds of emotions and views, and stories, human ones.
Still going strong: Britain's Got Talent's second semi-final pulled in 4.95 million viewers, just a week after its first show sparked backlash from viewers (Ashley pictured)sonos sonos One (Gen 2)