BRITAIN’S Got Talent has had 15,500 complaints from viewers following Diversity’s Black Lives Matter routine.
The number of complaints has soared throughout the week after Ashley Banjo led the dance troupe for the emotional performance on Saturday evening’s episode.
It came as BGT star Alesha Dixon waded into the BLM row by telling haters: “kiss my black a**”.
The performance, which saw Jordan’s brother Ashley lying on the floor with a white police officer kneeling on him, referenced the death of George Floyd in the US.
There were also backing dancers dressed in riot gear and the group took the knee partway through.
Diversity’s powerful performance is now the second most complained about TV moment in a decade.
The first is Roxanne Pallett’s Celebrity Big Brother ‘punchgate’ drama with former Corrie star Ryan Thomas with 25,327 complaints and Kim Woodburn’s interview on Loose Women comes third with 7,912 complaints.
In addition to the complaints, Ashley revealed earlier this week that he had received a barrage of abuse over the routine.
But the show’s stand-in judge thanked his critics for proving that it was a necessary performance.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “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.”
Meanwhile, Ashley’s brother Jordan fought back tears over the “horrible” complaints, speaking on his Kiss Radio show he said it was “genuinely sad”.
Jordan, 27, said: “Of course you get some critiques but normally it’s focused on the dance.
“But this one was different, it was really important, it was special to us.
“We are all about positivity and love and we got so much positivity and love back from this one.
“But we also got bombarded with messages and articles of horrible stuff about us, about our families, about how even now Diversity not diverse enough because there’s only five white people in it.”
Getting emotional, he added added: “I can’t speak for anyone else it’s sad, it’s sad, genuinely.”
Meanwhile, Perri hit back at one critic telling them to “get in the bin”.
While the performance ignited outrage from some BGT viewers, others said the “powerful” routine had moved them to tears.
One wrote: “Powerful and poignant and thought provoking. What you all did was OUTSTANDING.”
Another tweeted: “Just amazing powerful performance! Moved me to tears. You guys are just THE BEST!!!”
A third posted: “Keep doing the right thing. This piece was SO powerful.”
Diversity performed their spectacular trademark spinning dance moves in front of backing dancers dressed as riot police with shields.
Ashley, who was a judge at the weekend in place of the injured Simon Cowell, opened the piece by reciting a viral poem The Great Realisation by the singer Tomfoolery, which is about the BLM movement and police brutality.
The performance also addressed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, capitalism, and the growth of delivery services like Amazon.
It was branded “powerful” by host Dec Donnelly moments after it ended.
After debuting the moving routine, Ashley said: “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.”