Complaints to the regulator about a TV performance by Black dancers is further evidence of the precarious, restricted and probationary access and representation of Black and ethnically diverse creatives in the cultural public space, says Roaa Ali.
After a Saturday night performance on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent (BGT), Ofcom received more than 22,000 complaints and counting. This is its second-highest number of complaints about a TV show since 2010.
Was it nudity, violence, profanities or religious controversy that drew such outrage? No, it was a performance by the dance troupe Diversity that tackled racism and paid homage to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The performance contextualised Covid-19 and racism as two diseases inflicting British society. It restaged the images of a white policeman kneeling on the neck of a Black man in direct evocation of the arrest and killing of George Floyd in the US in May. The piece was powerful, emotive and performed with utter integrity and passion, concluding with an invocation of love as the fundamental answer to the ails of our time. In that sense, the piece was far from being problematic or radical in content.
The apparent outrage by members of the public manifested in a deluge of complaints to Ofcom and a barrage of racial abuse and hate on social media directed at Diversity and its leader Ashley Banjo... Keep reading on The Conversation