This year has been one of, if not the most, turbulent in living memory. 

From the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic to the Black Lives Matter movement and protests around the world, this year has seen marked shift in the way we live and think about our lives.

With Britain’s Got Talent returning to our screens for the first of the live shows on Saturday, September 5th, former winner and new judge Ashley Banjo took the opportunity to make a statement. With his BGT wining dance troupe Diversity, they performed a moving dance routine about the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the events of 2020.

While many viewers at home were stunned by the choreography, it came with some backlash. As a result of Diversity’s BLM dance routine, some viewers have decided to boycott Britain’s Got Talent. Find out what went down this weekend here.

Screenshot: Britain’s Got Talent S14 E10 – ITV Hub

Diversity performs powerful BLM dance

Dance group Diversity performed on the first of BGT’s 2020 live shows on Saturday, September 5th.

The four-minute routine begins with a poem read aloud about the events of 2020, from the death of George Floyd to protests and the coronavirus pandemic. It is framed as a child asking a parent about how the world was shaped – and hopefully improved – by the events of this year.

The dance ends with the child asking: “Why did it take a virus to bring the people back together?” Ashley then answers: “Because sometimes you have to get sick, my boy, before you start feeling better.”

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BGT viewers react to Diversity

For the most part, viewers were amazed by the emotionally-charged performance Ashley Banjo choreographed. While the live show aired, many tweets were sent out in support of Diversity’s BLM routine.

As Diversity used their platform on primetime Saturday night television to speak on BLM was highly praised. One viewer tweeted: “Thats talent, thats how you send a message and thats how to use your platform [sic].

One of the most powerful moments in the performance was undoubtedly when Ashley Banjo had a dancer dressed as a police officer kneeling on his neck – reenacting the way George Floyd and many others have had their lives taken by police brutality.

 

Why have some viewers decided to boycott BGT?

Although the BLM performance was highly praised, many BGT viewers critiqued Diversity for bringing politics to Saturday night entertainment television. But more the criticisms went further than just the Diversity performance, as many BGT viewers condemned the BLM movement itself, sparking online debate.

One viewer called the BLM dance routine “political propaganda from Diversity.”

As a result, some BGT viewers have decided to boycott the show. One of such viewers tweeted: “My wife who enjoys #BGT as light entertainment has now decided to boycott future shows because of political statements being shoved in her face.”

 

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