The recent series of Britain’s Got Talent has amassed a staggering 27,898 complaints to the broadcast watchdog, with the vast majority concerning the dance routine by Diversity themed around the Black Lives Matter movement.
Despite the volume of complaints, Ofcom has stated that it did not intend to pursue an investigation into the routine, which was praised by many other viewers.
“We carefully considered a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important,” Ofcom said in a statement.
“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.”
ITV, meanwhile, said: “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.”
Other complaints directed at the series concerned judge Alesha Dixon’s Black Lives Matter necklace, which she wore the week after Diversity’s performance, as well as the stand-up comedy routine by comedian Nabil Abdulrashid, whose material addressed racism and fatphobia.
Abdulrashid revealed on Twitter that he had received death threats and racist abuse following his semi-final appearance, which saw the contestant ushered through to the final via a coveted “Golden Buzzer”.
A low-cut dress worn by Amanda Holden was also the subject of a small number of complaints, which the BGT judge has since dismissed.
The full tally of complaints make Britain’s Got Talent the most complained-about series in a decade, overtaking Celebrity Big Brother’s 2018 record of 25,327.