Alesha Dixon praises ITV for supporting Diversity in newspaper adverts

ITV 'stood with Diversity' as they rolled out a full-page advert across national newspapers in support of the controversial Black Lives Matters Britain's Got Talent dance on Saturday.

The poster showed a poignant black and white image of Ashley Banjo, 31, taking the knee alongside the words: 'We are changed by what we see. Just as we are changed when we are seen. ITV stand with Diversity.' 

It comes in response to 24,500 viewers who complained about the politicisation of the ITV1 prime-time show to Ofcom.

Alesha was one of many who praised ITV for standing by the dance troupe. The singer, 41, took to Instagram to share a snap of the advert and gushed over how 'proud' she was with them.

In her caption, she wrote: 'Well done @ITV for standing with Diversity! Proud of you! This image is in all of the national newspapers today.' 

Making a statement: ITV's advert shows Ashley kneeling during Diversity's performance, and said 'we are changed by what we see. Just as we are changed when we are seen'

Making a statement: ITV's advert shows Ashley kneeling during Diversity's performance, and said 'we are changed by what we see. Just as we are changed when we are seen'

'Proud of you!' Alesha Dixon praised ITV on Saturday for taking out newspaper adverts to support Diversity's BLM-inspired dance

'Proud of you!' Alesha Dixon praised ITV on Saturday for taking out newspaper adverts to support Diversity's BLM-inspired dance

Ashley also shared his gratitude with ITV for standing by Diversity over their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance.

Sharing a snap of the same advert, which shows him kneeling in black-and-white, he wrote: 'This is what change looks like.

'@ITV stand with @Diversity and we’ve never been prouder. This is in all the national papers today. Thank you again to everyone that has supported us.'

Grateful: The singer, 41, took to Instagram on Saturday to share a snap of the advert, and wrote: 'Well done @ITV for standing with Diversity'

Grateful: The singer, 41, took to Instagram on Saturday to share a snap of the advert, and wrote: 'Well done @ITV for standing with Diversity'

Thankful: Ashley also shared his gratitude with ITV for standing by Diversity over their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance

Thankful: Ashley also shared his gratitude with ITV for standing by Diversity over their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance

Supportive: Fans also took to Twitter to share their delight over the advert

Supportive: Fans also took to Twitter to share their delight over the advert

Fans also took to Twitter to share their delight over the advert, as one wrote: 'This is how you support #BlackLivesMatter - well done @ITV for not only standing behind @Diversity_Tweet but standing alongside.'

Another added: 'Yes ITV!! Time for change, time for solidarity'

One user praised: 'ITV backing Diversity on #BGT: Good on them. ITV running a national advertisement campaign in support of what Diversity did: I'm speechless. This is how you make a statement.'  

Others, however, raised concern, but were unable to reply directly to ITV's announcement, as the broadcaster had turned the option off. 

Controversial: On Thursday, OfCom announced they will not investigate Diversity's Black Lives Matter-inspired routine from Britain's Got Talent on September 5

Controversial: On Thursday, OfCom announced they will not investigate Diversity's Black Lives Matter-inspired routine from Britain's Got Talent on September 5

Users found a way to make their voices heard by quoting the tweet instead, or replying to Ashley Banjo on Instagram. 

While the majority of responses were positive, one user said the advert was 'wokeness at its extreme,' while another said it was a 'disgrace'.

Replying to Ashley Banjo on Instagram, one man wrote: 'I am African and bored with this already. Why did you wait for BGT platform to showcase BLM? End of the day it's all business.'

One woman wrote: 'Fed up with things that should be family entertainment having political agendas attached to them and rammed down people's throats. Stop it.' 

ITV turned off replies to its announcement earlier today, but Twitter users voiced their opposition to the advert, branding the broadcaster a 'disgrace'

ITV turned off replies to its announcement earlier today, but Twitter users voiced their opposition to the advert, branding the broadcaster a 'disgrace'

On Thursday, OfCom announced they will not investigate the 24,500 complaints Diversity's Black Lives Matter-inspired routine from Britain's Got Talent on September 5.

The performance has now become the second-most complained about television moment of the decade, but a spokesperson for the government-approved regulatory body has confirmed to MailOnline no action will be taken.  

The representative said: 'We carefully considered a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important. 

Decision: A spokesperson for the government-approved regulatory body confirmed to MailOnline no action will be taken

Decision: A spokesperson for the government-approved regulatory body confirmed to MailOnline no action will be taken

'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. 

'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.'

Troupe leader Ashley reacted to the news on Instagram as he shared the statement and penned: 'Creativity is always a leap of faith. All I did what was what felt right and I’d do it 100 times over... Sending love to everyone that stood by us'. 

Proud: Troupe leader Ashley reacted to the news on Instagram as he shared the statement and penned: 'Creativity is always a leap of faith. All I did what was what felt right'

Proud: Troupe leader Ashley reacted to the news on Instagram as he shared the statement and penned: 'Creativity is always a leap of faith. All I did what was what felt right'

The decision was met with a mixed reaction from viewers, with some lauding the move and others claiming firmer action needed to be taken. 

One disgruntled complainer however penned: 'Absolutely useless. this regulator is totally incompetent. This disgusting quango needs to be abolished. unbelievable...

'The dance was a political dance, inciting racial division in our country, it was a blatant support for a far left marxist extremist cult. It had no place on a prime time entertainment show.'

Viewers celebrating the move took to Twitter to write: 'Quite right too. Seems ridiculous that this even needed saying. But apparently, it did... 

'This is demonstration of good leadership from a public body. Now if you could handle other aspects of public life the country may not be so much in a mess. Thank you for being sensible and seeing the performance for what it is.... 

'Thank you so much. Hope this stops the hateful and stupid complaining about what was a brilliant, powerful and moving performance.'  

On Wednesday, it was revealed the 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 death of black man George Floyd beneath the knee of a white police officer, divided fans after it aired during the live show.

Viewers took to Twitter in the aftermath of the episode airing on September 5, complaining about the politicisation of the ITV1 prime-time show. 

Happy: Some viewers lauded the decision in a series of tweets

Happy: Some viewers lauded the decision in a series of tweets

Annoyed: One disgruntled complainer however penned: 'Absolutely useless. this regulator is totally incompetent. This disgusting quango needs to be abolished. unbelievable'

Annoyed: One disgruntled complainer however penned: 'Absolutely useless. this regulator is totally incompetent. This disgusting quango needs to be abolished. unbelievable'

The 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. 

ITV have stood by Diversity troupe leader Ashley 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.

'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.'  

Ashley recently broke his silence about Diversity's routine during the first semi-final, and welcomed the conversation the complaints have started.

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 September 5

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 September 5

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Support: ITV have stood by Britain's Got Talent judge Ashley and his Diversity dance troupe

Support: ITV have stood by Britain's Got Talent judge Ashley and his Diversity dance troupe 

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.'

Support: The broadcaster shared a statement on their Twitter page as the furore continued

Support: The broadcaster shared a statement on their Twitter page as the furore continued

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.

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