Ashley Banjo praised for confronting Jim Davidson over disgusting Diversity comments

Ashley Banjo praised for confronting Jim Davidson over disgusting Diversity comments

Ashley Banjo has been praised for confronting comedian Jim Davidson over the comments he made about Diversity's Black Lives Matter performance.

The group performed a powerful dance in September last year on Britain's Got Talent, with choreography that included a reference to the tragic death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests.

The routine left many divided and Jim, 68, made some negative remarks in a video titled 'Who Needs Diversity?' as he called it “the most indulgent piece of stuff I’ve seen in ages. What was the point?”

After "weeks of negotiation" Jim agreed to participate in a sit-down interview for the ITV documentary Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White.

Ahead of their interview, Ashley described Jim's comments on the performance "disgusting".

Once they sat down, the street dancer and choreographer launched directly into the thick of the matter as he said: "As far as I’m concerned, that video you made about Diversity it was…it was racist in every way. Every single way.”

“If I was talking about you it would be personal rather than be racist,” Jim replied.

Ashley, whose performance was supported by Peter Andre, hit back: “It was both. It was personal and racist. I’m from this country, I love this country, I’m from a mixed-race background.”

Jim then asked: “Do you consider yourself black or white?” to which Ashley responded: “I consider myself mixed heritage."

The Sinderella star went on: “That’s good. You should know that I believe that the outcome from that dance is more than your wildest dreams.”

He added: “People in this country who are frightened. Old ‘white’ people, if you like, like me, are thinking there’s riots going on in Brixton, in South East London where I grew up. There’s stuff going on in America that’s very unsavoury.

"There’s black guys walking around with black stuff. Everyone’s frightened. You diffused that. People are supporting you of all different races. I support Black Lives Matter. I don’t support Black Lives Matter the movement, I support the statement. If you’ve won me over…”

“Did you support the statement last year when you made the video?” Ashley then challenged him, to which he responded that he did. Ashley further questioned: “Do you consider the video you made about me and the rest of Diversity racist?”

Jim explained: “No, you just happened to be black, it was about you.” He then shared that he believed the performance was not appropriate for a “late entertainment show”.

Ashley then spoke about how he has experienced discrimination as a result of his ethnicity and explained why the movement is so important.

He went on to point out that mentioning a black man's ethnic identity when referring to his crime is wrong and said Jim had done that in his video.

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"Why was his colour relevant?" Ashley questioned, to which Jim responded by saying he was "talking b****cks" and added: "Oh Jesus, this is f***ing crazy".

Jim then accidentally called Ashley "George" before apologising as he said: "I beg your pardon, it’s on my mind at the moment.”

He then decided to put an end to the interview, calling it a "no-win" before removing his microphone and walking out. "Stick to the dancing, you're brilliant," Jim said.

Ashley called after him: “Don’t walk out because I’m asking you the hard questions.”

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Following the interview, Ashley said he was disappointed as it was “an opportunity for us to sit and really engage in a discussion”.

Fans immediately flocked to Twitter to share their support for Ashley as one person wrote: "Ashley Banjo was calm and friendly Jim Davidson was embarrassed and looked ignorant throughout the interview."

Another said: "Loving your documentary. Your BGT performance was so powerful+should’ve been celebrated. I’m sorry you all went through this, but I’m glad you got to use your platform to shine a light on such an important issue that should have been eradicated centuries ago xx".

While a third added: "Well done Ashley, interesting documentary. Your dance was very powerful and moved me to tears. Jim Davidson's ears were closed, he didn't want to hear or acknowledge the experiences of black people. Keep doing what you're doing. x".

Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White is available to stream on ITV Hub.

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