If ITV says sorry over BLM-inspired dance, I’ll quit says Alesha Dixon: Britain’s Got Talent judge issues ultimatum after supporting controversial performance by Diversity on the show
Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon has said she will quit the show if ITV apologises over a Black Lives Matter-inspired dance.
Sources on the show say the 41-year-old is firmly against bosses taking anything other than a supportive stance over the politically charged performance by Diversity last weekend.
The routine, which recreated the killing in the US of George Floyd in May, has so far led to more than 15,500 complaints to Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator.
The Mail on Sunday understands that ITV considered offering an apology to viewers who had been offended by the dance, but not for screening it.
Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon,41, has said she will quit the show if ITV apologises over a Black Lives Matter-inspired dance
But Ms Dixon, who has spoken publicly about being subjected to racism, told friends that ITV should not offer an apology and would consider her role on the show if it did.
In the performance, Diversity’s choreographer Ashley Banjo – who is also sitting in as a judge for the injured Simon Cowell – is pinned down as a white ‘police officer’ kneels on his neck.
He later said the routine was intended to ‘express how the events of this year have made us feel’.
In the performance, Diversity’s choreographer Ashley Banjo is pinned down as a white ‘police officer’ kneels on his neck
Last night, a source said: ‘Alesha is absolutely furious and doesn’t think anyone should be apologising for anything.
Ashley is in a complete state over all of this and it has knocked his confidence. Alesha has spent the week supporting him and building him back up.
‘She is very sad about it all but staunchly stands by the dance. It is something she feels incredibly passionate about so if ITV were to say sorry, it would be understandably hard for her to continue.’
Ms Dixon, who rose to fame with the girl band Mis-Teeq and became a BGT judge in 2012, has given public support to the routine.
Divisive: Diversity’s routine, which recreated the killing in the US of George Floyd in May, has so far led to more than 15,500 complaints to Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator
When Mr Banjo was subjected to racist abuse on social media last week, she told the trolls to ‘kiss my black a**’.
ITV said the performance opened up ‘important topics of conversation’ and met criteria for family viewing.
Ofcom is yet to decide whether to investigate.
Defiant Mr Banjo walked on to the Elton John hit I’m Still Standing in last night’s Britain’s Got Talent in what appeared to be a reference to the complaints and social media trolling he has received over the performance.
The 31-year-old then appeared to hit back at criticism of the dance as he told hosts Ant and Dec: ‘I loved it, I loved being on this side of the desk but you guys got me up there as well.’
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