Alesha Dixon hits back at critics by defiantly showing off her Black Lives Matter necklace in new Instagram video after causing controversy on Britain’s Got Talent with the statement jewellery
- Alesha defiantly showed off her Black Lives Matter necklace in a new Instagram video posted on Sunday
- The judge, 41, sparked controversy with the statement item of jewellery on Saturday’s pre-recorded Britain’s Got Talent semi-final
- Viewers expressed their opinions of the necklace on Twitter with some revealing how they were ‘loving’ the bold choice while others were outraged
- It comes after ITV rolled out full-page ads in solidarity with Diversity as Ofcom complaints reach 24,500 over the groups BLM-inspired routine
- The black and white poster showed Ashley Banjo, 31, taking the knee
- It read: ‘We are changed by what we see. Just as we are changed when we are seen. ITV stand with Diversity.’
- Diversity sparked 24,500 Ofcom complaints with their BLM-inspired dance on BGT, Alesha lauded ITV for the powerful advert and said she was ‘proud’
Alesha Dixon hit back at critics as she defiantly showed off her Black Lives Matter necklace in a new Instagram video posted on Sunday.
The judge, 42, sparked controversy on Saturday’s pre-recorded Britain’s Got Talent semi-final as she divided viewers by wearing the statement item of jewellery.
It comes after ITV rolled out full-page ads in solidarity with Diversity as Ofcom complaints reach 24,500 over the groups BLM-inspired routine.
Defiant: Alesha Dixon hit back at critics as she defiantly showed off her Black Lives Matter necklace in a new Instagram video posted on Sunday
Taking to her Instagram on Sunday, to share some behind-the-scenes shots of her outfit on Saturday’s show, Alesha defiantly showed off the statement item of jewellery.
Posting a video of herself getting her make-up done, the judge slowly zoomed in on the three-tier gold necklace with the large letters BLM on it.
Alesha’s stylist, Laury Smith, also shared snaps of the star’s outfit to her own Instagram account revealing that she wore items of jewellery by Hannah Martin, MAM Originals and Veiled Rebel.
Controversy: The judge, 42, sparked controversy on Saturday’s pre-recorded Britain’s Got Talent semi-final as she divided viewers by wearing the statement item of jewellery
Statement: Taking to her Instagram on Sunday, to share some behind-the-scenes shots of her outfit on Saturday’s show, Alesha defiantly showed off the statement item of jewellery
It is not known which brand created the necklace and whether Alesha had it made bespoke for the ITV talent show.
On Saturday’s episode, the judge appeared on the pre-recorded semi-final in a bright yellow dress and a gold necklace which featured a BLM pendant.
It comes as ITV ‘stood with Diversity’ as they featured adverts in national newspapers in support of the controversial Black Lives Matter-inspired Britain’s Got Talent dance, which featured earlier in the series.
Details: Alesha’s stylist, Laury Smith, also shared snaps of the star’s outfit to her own Instagram account revealing that she wore items of jewellery by Hannah Martin, MAM Originals and Veiled Rebel
Alesha wore an off-shoulder yellow dress featuring a ruffle hem for the show, but all eyes were on her statement necklace.
Britain’s Got Talent fans expressed their opinions of the necklace on Twitter with some revealing how they were ‘loving’ the bold choice, while others were outraged and said: ‘ITV are a disgrace’.
One wrote: ‘Big props to Alesha Dixon wearing a BLM necklace on BGT. If anyone has any issues with it then they don’t deserve human rights #BLM #bgtsemifinals.’
Bespoke? It is not known which brand created the necklace and whether Alesha had it made bespoke for the ITV talent show
‘Absolutely loving Alesha Dixon necklace, making a statement @BGT #BlackLivesMatter #BLM #BGT,’ another added.
A third said: ‘Alesha Dixon wearing a BLM necklace is such a power move and I am HERE for it #BGT #BritainsGotTalent.’
Yet another penned: ‘Alesha Dixon is wearing a BLM necklace… ITV are a disgrace.’
Opinions: Twitter users expressed their opinion of the necklace during Saturday’s show and one branded ITV ‘a disgrace’
Proud: On Saturday’s episode, the judge appeared on the pre-recorded semi-final in a bright yellow dress and a gold necklace which featured a BLM pendant
Making a statement: It comes after ITV rolled out full-page ads in solidarity with Diversity as Ofcom complaints reach 24,500 over the groups BLM-inspired routine
ITV are believed to have spent around £260,000 on the newspaper ads with full-page monochrome pieces in The Metro costing £36,461 and £27,700 in The Mirror.
MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment.
Alesha was one of many who praised ITV for standing by the dance troupe. The singer took to Instagram to share a snap of the advert and gushed over how ‘proud’ she was with them.
In her caption, she wrote: ‘Well done @ITV for standing with Diversity! Proud of you! This image is in all of the national newspapers today.’
Support: Other fans revealed how they were ‘absolutely loving’ the necklace and described the move as ‘phenomenal’
Fellow judge Ashley Banjo, 31, also shared his gratitude with ITV for standing by Diversity over their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance.
The poster showed a poignant black and white image of Ashley taking the knee alongside the words: ‘We are changed by what we see. Just as we are changed when we are seen. ITV stand with Diversity.’
Sharing a snap of the same advert, which shows him kneeling in black-and-white, he wrote: ‘This is what change looks like.
‘@ITV stand with @Diversity and we’ve never been prouder. This is in all the national papers today. Thank you again to everyone that has supported us.’
Diversity star Jordan Banjo, 27, who features in the dance troupe with his brother Ashley, also shared a picture of the ITV advert to his Instagram stories on Saturday.
Fans also took to Twitter to share their delight over the advert, as one wrote: ‘This is how you support #BlackLivesMatter – well done @ITV for not only standing behind @Diversity_Tweet but standing alongside.’
Another added: ‘Yes ITV!! Time for change, time for solidarity.’
‘Proud of you!’ Alesha praised ITV on Saturday for taking out newspaper adverts to support Diversity’s BLM-inspired dance
Grateful: The singer took to Instagram on Saturday to share a snap of the advert, and wrote: ‘Well done @ITV for standing with Diversity’
Thankful: Ashley also shared his gratitude with ITV for standing by Diversity over their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance
One user praised: ‘ITV backing Diversity on #BGT: Good on them. ITV running a national advertisement campaign in support of what Diversity did: I’m speechless. This is how you make a statement.’
Others, however, raised concern, but were unable to reply directly to ITV’s announcement, as the broadcaster had turned the option off.
Users found a way to make their voices heard by quoting the tweet instead, or replying to Ashley Banjo on Instagram.
Support: Diversity star Jordan Banjo, 27, who features in the dance troupe with brother Ashley, also shared a picture of the ITV advert to his Instagram stories
While the majority of responses were positive, one user said the advert was ‘wokeness at its extreme,’ while another said it was a ‘disgrace’.
Replying to Ashley Banjo on Instagram, one man wrote: ‘I am African and bored with this already. Why did you wait for BGT platform to showcase BLM? End of the day it’s all business.’
One woman wrote: ‘Fed up with things that should be family entertainment having political agendas attached to them and rammed down people’s throats. Stop it.’
Supportive: Fans also took to Twitter to share their delight over the advert
On Thursday, OfCom announced they will not investigate the 24,500 complaints Diversity’s Black Lives Matter-inspired routine from Britain’s Got Talent on September 5.
The performance has now become the second-most complained about television moment of the decade, but a spokesperson for the government-approved regulatory body has confirmed to MailOnline no action will be taken.
The representative said: ‘We carefully considered a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important.
Controversial: On Thursday, OfCom announced they will not investigate Diversity’s Black Lives Matter-inspired routine from Britain’s Got Talent on September 5
‘Diversity’s performance referred to challenging and potentially controversial subjects, and in our view, its central message was a call for social cohesion and unity.
‘Any depictions of violence by the performers were highly stylised and symbolic of recent global events, and there was no explicit reference to any particular political organisation – but rather a message that the lives of black people matter.’
Troupe leader Ashley reacted to the news on Instagram as he shared the statement and penned: ‘Creativity is always a leap of faith. All I did what was what felt right and I’d do it 100 times over… Sending love to everyone that stood by us’.
The decision was met with a mixed reaction from viewers, with some lauding the move and others claiming firmer action needed to be taken.
One disgruntled complainer however penned: ‘Absolutely useless. this regulator is totally incompetent. This disgusting quango needs to be abolished. unbelievable…
‘The dance was a political dance, inciting racial division in our country, it was a blatant support for a far left marxist extremist cult. It had no place on a prime time entertainment show.’
Viewers celebrating the move took to Twitter to write: ‘Quite right too. Seems ridiculous that this even needed saying. But apparently, it did…
‘This is demonstration of good leadership from a public body. Now if you could handle other aspects of public life the country may not be so much in a mess. Thank you for being sensible and seeing the performance for what it is….
‘Thank you so much. Hope this stops the hateful and stupid complaining about what was a brilliant, powerful and moving performance.’
Twitter: ITV turned off replies to its announcement but Twitter users voiced their opposition to the advert, branding the broadcaster a ‘disgrace’
On Wednesday, it was revealed the performance is still receiving complaints almost two weeks after originally airing, with TV regulator Ofcom counting 24,041 to date.
The routine, which narrated the death of black man George Floyd beneath the knee of a white police officer, divided fans after it aired during the live show.
Viewers took to Twitter in the aftermath of the episode airing on September 5, complaining about the politicisation of the ITV1 prime-time show.
The response has made it the second most complained about TV moment of all time, just behind Roxanne’s Pallett’s notorious appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, with a record 25,237 objections.
ITV have stood by Diversity troupe leader Ashley after the performance provoked a heated response.
In a statement the broadcaster told MailOnline that their performance offered an ‘authentic, heartfelt’ response to the issues of 2020 after viewers criticised the routine for ‘politicising’ the show.
They said: ‘Britain’s Got Talent has always been an inclusive show, which showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms and ITV stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity’s performance on BGT.
Decision: A spokesperson for the government-approved regulatory body confirmed to MailOnline no action will be taken on Thursday for Diversity’s BLM-inspired routine
‘Ashley and the group are a great example of the talent, creativity and diversity of modern Britain and their performance was an authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020.’
Ashley recently broke his silence about Diversity’s routine during the first semi-final, and welcomed the conversation the complaints have started.
The dancer addressed both the positive and negative response in a candid video as he revealed he and the group have been the target of ‘racial abuse and threats’ following the dance.
Proud: Troupe leader Ashley reacted to the news on Instagram as he shared the statement and penned: ‘Creativity is always a leap of faith. All I did what was what felt right’
In the statement, he said: ‘It’s been a lot, everything from racial abuse to threats, to just some really nasty stuff. I’m not going to give light to it, I’m not going to give it any more time than it deserves.
‘But a lot of the negativity, the nastiness, and the racism shows exactly why these performances and exactly why this conversation that has arisen is so necessary. Racism is very real, I’ve known it before and I definitely know it now.’
He originally began his video by thanking those who had supported Diversity and had shared positive messages and well wishes, even mentioning those who had checked in on the members mental well-being during the aftermath of the routine.
Happy: Some viewers lauded the decision in a series of tweets
Ashley said: ‘Firstly I want to say thank you to all the people who are supportive of me and Diversity’s performance, who’ve reached out.
‘Honestly it’s overwhelming the positive reaction to what we did. Hundreds of thousands of messages, comments, DMs and interactions in the street.
‘There’s been what 15-16,000 complaints of negativity thrown back at the performance, but trust me I’m right in the centre of it and the negativity is in the minority.
Annoyed: One disgruntled complainer however penned: ‘Absolutely useless. this regulator is totally incompetent. This disgusting quango needs to be abolished. unbelievable’
‘The positive response has been huge so thank you so much everyone who has supported and shown love, stood by what we did.’
He added: ‘Everyone who reached out who checked if we were alright, thank you to you as well.
‘We are good though, we are feeling positive, proud, happy confident and we stand by every single decision that we made for that performance.
‘If I’m honest with you to be able to stand on the very stage that launched Diversity into the limelight as a judge on the panel, standing up for something, using our art to spark nationwide conversation, what more could I ask for as a creative and an artist?
‘To entertain, to get people talking, to cause emotion, that is everything I could have asked for so I am proud and like I said I stand by it so thank you to everyone showing their positivity.’
Support: ITV have stood by Britain’s Got Talent judge Ashley and his Diversity dance troupe
Sharing his decision to remain positive in the face of racist trolls, he went on: ‘After this performance everything that we’ve seen, I don’t know, it’s been overwhelmingly negative sometimes, which is tough.
‘But still, like I said, [I’m] standing strong and feeling so happy with what we’ve done, if that’s what it takes that’s a price I’m absolutely willing to pay.’
Ashley then described the dance routine in full, stipulating that Diversity were giving a ‘summary of 2020’ with their performance tackling topics like lockdown, COVID-19, the NHS, George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘It was layered, it was something we wanted to bring to the stage to bring hope but also not to shy away from difficult conversations and difficult issues that have arisen,’ he said of the dance.
‘That’s exactly why the question whether Britain’s Got Talent was the right platform was one that I just can’t get on board with.
‘If an artist or creative can’t use real world issues, universal issues, to inspire their art and come through how they express them then what’s the point?
‘Britain’s Got Talent has been a stage for so many incredible performers, artists and talents who want to express all different kinds of emotions and views, and stories, human ones.
Hard hitting: The routine, which narrated the death of black man George Floyd beneath the knee of a white police officer, divided fans after it aired during the live show on September 5
‘Of course political ideas are going to work into performances because it affects us every single day, universal things that affect us, that is what art is; it’s an expression of how we feel and this set of 2020 is exactly that.’
Explaining that he wanted Diversity’s dance to express the ‘rollercoaster of emotions’ that he and the group have experienced this year, he then addressed the portion of the dance dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘The bit that was really seemed to connect with people and agitate, annoy and offend people was the fact that we stood up and said that racism is real and as far as we’re concerned it has to change so that we’re tolerant because Black Lives Matter.
Support: The broadcaster shared a statement on their Twitter page as the furore continued
‘Now, a lot of people were offended at the political nature of that statement, but that’s never what we intended, black lives mattered long before it was anything political or affiliated with one set of people with a statement.
‘Black Lives Matter is a fact. It is and always will be a fact. That’s what I stand by that’s what every single one of my team proudly standby and that’s why we included it in our summary of 2020.’
He praised how the Black Lives Matter movement has ‘made its way around the world’ and ‘started the conversation’ about racism across the globe.
‘I’m so glad that this performance has almost ignited the spark of that conversation to be continued again,’ he admitted.
‘The fact that it was a medium like a dance and it was on a show like Britain’s Got Talent in the mainstream is so important.
‘Families, schools, homes, friends are now having this conversation about something that is very real and affects so many people.
‘I’m proud, I’m happy and like I said I want to say thank you to everyone who supported us. I don’t want this conversation to end.’
Ashley concluded by reiterating his gratitude to followers who have stood by him and Diversity, and he ‘sent love’ to ‘every single one of you that’s thrown positive energy or negative energy at me and the group.’
Memorable: Diversity’s BLM performance was met with mixed responses, with some calling out the display as making a ‘political statement’ and others hailing the dance as ‘powerful’
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