Ashley Banjo says he has received vicious racial abuse after Diversity’s Black Lives Matter-inspired dance routine on Britain’s Got Talent.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in America earlier this year was acted out during the performance.
At one point, Ashley can be seen pinned to the floor by a white man as his fellow dancers posed as onlookers filming the incident on their mobile phones.
The lead dancer of Diversity insisted the reaction to the routine has been mostly positive as he took to Instagram to address the backlash.
He said: “I want to say thank you, for all the people who have supported what me and Diversity did with out performance, they have reached out.
“Honestly, it is overwhelming, the positive reaction to what we did, hundreds of thousands of messages, comments, DMs and interactions in the street.
“I know a lot of the press reports have been about the complaints and the negativity, which there has been a lot of – there’s been what 15, 16,000 complaints, a lot of negativity thrown back at the performance.
“Trust me, I am right in the centre of it and the negativity is the minority.
“The positive response has been huge, so thank you so much to everyone who has support, shown love and stood by what we did.”
He went on to say that he has been on the end of some vicious abuse following the routine.
Ashley said: “I am not going to give it any more time that it deserves, but a lot of negativity all of the nastiness and the racism shows exactly why this performance was needed and exactly why this conversation has arisen from it is necessary.
“Racism is very real, especially after this performance – I knew it before, and I definitely know it now.”
He added: “The bit that really seemed to connect with people and agitate and annoy and offend some people is the fact that we stood up and said that racism is real, and as far we are concerned, it has to change and it will not be tolerated, because Black Lives Matter.”