Britain’s Got Talent’s Ashley Banjo saddened after receiving thousands of ‘hateful’ messages after BLM dance routine

ASHLEY Banjo revealed he received a barrage of abuse over his dance crew Diversity's Black Lives Matter-inspired routine on Britain's Got Talent.

But the show's stand-in judge has thanked his critics for proving that it was a necessary performance.

He wrote on Twitter: "So much to say… But I’ll Just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages of Love and support – Thank you.

"For the thousands of messages of hate and ignorance – Thank you. You highlight exactly what needs to change. Sending nothing but love to you all."

The 31-year-old dancer and choreographer was knelt on by a white police officer during the routine.

The group, which includes Dancing On Ice's Perri Kiely, then all dropped down on one knee as haunting vocals sang "I can't breathe."

It was a direct reference to the death of George Floyd in the US after white officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck, sparking BLM protests around the world.

The routine split opinion among viewers with some criticising the group for politicising the prime time entertainment show.

While others were spellbound by the intricate moves and the emotional reference to a real life tragedy.

Diversity performed their spectacular trademark spinning dance moves in front of backing dancers dressed as riot police with shields.

Sirens were heard and smoke filled the stage after a rap that began: "While we all were hidden, under orders of the Prime Minister, people dusted off their instincts and noticed something more sinister.

"Another disease, deep rooted in our system, fear, hate and ignorance, but racism was the symptom."

The remarkable performance also addressed the coronavirus, capitalism, and the growth of delivery services like Amazon.

It was branded "powerful" by host Dec Donnelly moments after it ended.

Ashley told The Sun Online: "This performance is extremely special to me and the rest of Diversity.

"2020 has been an incredible moment in history for both positive and negative reasons.

"We wanted to use the platform we’ve been given to make our voices heard, express how the events of this year have made us feel and think about how we might look back on them in the future… We call it hindsight 2020.”

Ashley had the strong backing of BGT boss Simon Cowell to take his place while he recovers from a shocking bike accident in LA.

He said: “Ashley will be a fantastic addition to the panel. He knows the power of the show and the responsibility of it.

"I couldn’t think of a better person to sit in my seat whilst I follow doctor’s orders. I hate that stupid bike.”

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