The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have personally called Ashley Banjo to support him as he was flooded with complaints following his Black Lives Matter performance.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have backed “Britain’s Got Talent” judge Ashley Banjo after a Black Lives Matter dance he performed prompted more than 25,000 complaints.
The dance troupe leader, 31, whose Diversity group won Simon Cowell‘s TV talent contest in 2009, choreographed the routine dedicated to the anti-racism movement on the programme last month (Sep20).
It featured Ashley taking the knee, as well as ‘police officers’ kneeling on a dancer – a reference to the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May, which sparked global protests.
In the weeks after the broadcast, more than 25,000 people complained to U.K. TV regulator Ofcom, but officials declined to investigate, believing there was no case to answer.
Speaking to Britain’s Evening Standard newspaper, Harry revealed he and Meghan have personally called the dancer and talent show judge to offer their support.
“We spoke to Ashley Banjo a few weeks ago, straight after the Britain’s Got Talent situation,” he said. “And that in itself, I am sure even me talking about it will be controversial, but the reality of it is he and his team of guys put on the most amazing display.”
“We had such a good chat with Ashley. He was really strong, he felt great about it, but at the same time he was concerned because of the reaction. It was a real surprise that there was what? 1,100 complaints after the show and then three days of hype it became 20 or 25,000.”
“I am very glad Ofcom made the decision that they did but that in itself kind of proves how much this conversation needs to continue.”
In the wide-ranging interview launching a list of new Black “trailblazers” to mark Britain’s Black History Month, Harry also spoke about how he has had an “awakening” about racism since marrying his wife, who is mixed race, back in 2018.
“I wasn’t aware of so many of the issues and so many of the problems within the U.K. and also globally as well,” he explains. “I thought I did but I didn’t.”