Diversity’s Jordan Banjo says their children ‘received threats’ after BGT dance
Jordan Banjo has opened up about the aftermath of Diversity’s Black Lives Matter inspired dance on Britain’s Got Talent, saying the “negative voices” were loud to begin with
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Jordan Banjo has said that members of Diversity and their children were ‘threatened’ in the aftermath of the group’s Black Lives Matter inspired dance on Britain’s Got Talent.
The 27-year-old dancer admitted that it was hard when the “negative voices” rang loud but said that he has been heartened by the level of positive support they have received since.
The dance routine on the ITV show sparked more than 24,500 complaints to Ofcom as of last week but the channel praised the “authentic, heartfelt” performance and took out a full page newspaper advert in support of Diversity.
Ofcom has also said it will not investigate the routine, saying it did not consider the performance to be racist.
Speaking out, Jordan said: “The negative voices in the room always seem the loudest at first, but you look past all of that and you look past the few select headlines and genuinely there is so much more positivity than negativity.
“When you have ranging from people in the petrol station shouting across the forecourt how much they loved it and they watched it with their kids, we have been speaking to people saying ‘My husband’s a teacher or I’m a teacher and we showed it at school’ or ‘it started a conversation in school.’
“You have people like Lewis Hamilton tweeting and it’s sparking a positive conversation, which is what we wanted.”
Jordan said that the dance was “misconstrued” by a section of viewers but it hasn’t taken away from its sentiment.
He continued: “Some stuff gets misconstrued, some people have a different understanding or want to have a different understanding and for us the sentiment of Black Lives Matter – no funding, no organisation, no politics, nothing like that, but as a sentiment, as a sentence itself – if you disagree with that sentence then I don’t really know what to say.
“But for us, having a summary of 2020 as a performance and leaving out something as huge and important to us as Black Lives Matter seemed like we were trying to avoid it which we don’t want to do.”
Jordan said there was more to the performance than BLM as it was a “celebration” of the NHS as well, after its response to coronavirus.
Discussing the aftermath, Jordan said: “I don’t want to highlight it but there is an issue from threats, to talking about our kids, to being called names, I have never seen so much creative writing in my entire life.
“How people can adapt one racial slur so many times is beyond me, you need a medal for that.”
He added: “I haven’t spoken to all the boys, some of the boys don’t put themselves up front and centre, so they are part of the group and have loads of Diversity supporters following them, but in terms of me, Pel (Perri) and Ash, we have had a quite a lot of stuff.
“Within a few hours of it airing it was all positive and the next day some people weren’t too sure and then when the whole media thing picked up a bit and people who hadn’t even seen the performance were just ‘Watch your back when you walk around here’.”
Joking about the number of Ofcom complaints, Jordan’s co-star Perri Kiely said: “I felt like I was climbing the charts. I felt like I needed that number one spot.
“There are so many complaints, you don’t understand why there should be so many complaints, so to get the backing (of Ofcom) after something like that is just positive. It’s exactly what you want.
“Also ITV completely stuck by us and they have gone above and beyond, it could have been very easy for people to stay quiet but they haven’t because it’s the right thing to do and I think that it’s plain and simple.”