The UK's broadcasting regulator said on Thursday it will not be launching an investigation into a Black Lives Matter-inspired dance number by on Britain's Got Talent following widespread complaints.
London-based dance troupe 'Diversity' performance on 5 September saw viewer complaints to Ofcom soar to 2,500 as of Thursday morning.
"We carefully considered a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important", an Ofcom spokeswoman said.
"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".
The spokeswoman said that 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".
— Ofcom (@Ofcom) September 17, 2020
The performance has become the second-most complained about television incident of the decade. However, according to a report from the Mail Online, the government-approved regulatory body will not be taking action.
Those who complained said that the prime-time Saturday night entertainment show was not an appropriate medium to show violent images of push political statements.
Responding to the statement, some social media users said that the complaints represented a backlash from the public against the Black Lives Matter movement.
— Matthew Newell (@MatthewNewell67) September 17, 2020
Others called for the body to be defunded.
Diversity star and BGT judge Ashley Banjo issued a statement in response to the decision by Ofcom on Instagram, describing creativity as "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", he added.
Banko also said earlier week following the complaints that he had received "hundreds of thousands" of supportive messages.
"Trust me. I'm right in the centre of it", the troupe leader said. "The negativity is the minority".
"We stand by every single decision we made with that performance".
Diversity's routine showed a white performer kneeling down on one of a dancers neck, a seeming reference to the death of George Floyd at the hands of US law enforcement.
Other performers were dressed in riot gear and the dance featured themes relating to the coronavirus pandemic, poverty, and criticisms of capitalism.
— Richard Longmuir 🏴🇪🇺 (@richardlongmuir) September 16, 2020
The performance follows widespread controversy throughout the country about the treatment of black people in the United States and Great Britain, particularly by the police.