Ashley Banjo has reacted to a study which found that the Black Lives Matter movement has increased racial ‘tension’ within the UK.
The dancer was subjected to backlash after his group Diversity highlighted racial and social injustice issues through their powerful Britain’s Got Talent performance in September.
Ofcom received almost 30,000 complaints following the routine with some believing it was too political for the family friendly show.
Regardless, Diversity’s performance contributed to the wider discussion about racism in the UK which was sparked by Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.
A new poll, conducted by Opinium, has found that 55% of British people believe the anti-racism protests increased racial tension. It was concluded that white people were more likely to believe that the BLM movement had increased tensions.
Sharing his thoughts on the findings, Ashley tweeted: ‘And the Diversity performance sparked nearly 30,000 complaints… Conversation, Honesty and ‘Tension’ are all very necessary when you’re facing a deep rooted issue that’s set in over hundreds of years. Apologies to those that felt ‘tense’…
‘For anyone who thought this was any kind of genuine apology… I’m Just here to set the record straight. The only thing I can suggest to all the people feeling ‘tension’ is some kind of massage? Once the lockdown is over of course #Blacklivesmatter.’
When approached about the poll results, Black Lives Matter spokesperson Adam Elliott-Cooper said according to The Guardian: ‘To say that to challenge racism increases racial tension is a very misleading assumption.
‘Black Lives Matter hasn’t increased racial tension in the same way as the civil rights movement in the US didn’t or the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa didn’t. They haven’t increased racial tension but they might have made it more apparent and exposed what is there.’
The study also found that 44% of those from the BAME community felt that BLM had increased tensions but 17% of the 2,000 people who voted disagreed.
Diversity received immense support amid the backlash over their BGT performance, with judge Alesha Dixon wearing a BLM necklace in a later episode.
Ashley recently spoke out about the criticism on the Graham Norton Show and admitted: ‘We knew it would be risky and we knew people wouldn’t like it, but I wasn’t quite ready for the amount of people that didn’t like it.
‘All we tried to do was a summary of 2020 ending with hope and a coming together, but somehow it turned into something that touched a very raw nerve.’
He added: ‘I’m glad it did. I am super proud of it and I would never take it back.’
Credit: Original article published here.