Diversity, Britain’s Got Talent dance group took to the stage of Britain’s Got Talent: Semi-Finals to perform a set which centred around the events that have occurred over this year. Covid-19, Racism, Police Brutality and Black Lives Matter. This dance was met with over 24,000 complaints to ITV and OFCOM. Over 24,000 people felt that a “family show that should be light-hearted and just entertaining was not the place for a protest” some claimed they found it “uncomfortable to watch and highly inappropriate”, that it “was racist towards white people”, “portrayed the police in a negative light” and showed “support to a political organisation”, Black Lives Matter.
Like many have said, whenever the subject of racism and protest is brought up, we constantly here “it’s not the right way, not the right time, not the right…” countless voices of “not the right” finish the sentence. Forever highlighting the problem with this or that form of protest but never with a solution.
I personally found the whole thing quite amusing. I was amused that so many people could be outraged not because of the dance, or the outcry of people that the dance highlighted but because it was uncomfortable and forced them to be faced with the realities of today. I am positively dumbfounded that people can get so up in arms about their TV show daring to not entertain them but rather to bring their attention to the situation the world is dealing with. Albeit racism, and I mean all forms of racism have really been magnified in this our year of 2020 and everywhere you turn you will find something related to it. We can’t run away from it anymore, be it social media, school, in the workplace, in the church or even in the pub. If Corona isn’t the topic racism is. Dare I say it has become overwhelming. I for one had to break away from social media as the influx of information and the pain I kept seeing was emotionally draining. However, it was not because it was inappropriate and social media wasn’t the place for it, I simply knew that I had to take it in one at a time, processing and having uncomfortable conversations in the manner by which they presented themselves.
But It seems that while the world seeks to move to a “better place” by finally addressing the issues that have plagued mankind for so long, for these 24,000 plus individuals they just wanted nothing to do with it. Actually, let me rephrase it, they didn’t want it then, not at that time, not on that show, it just wasn’t the right place for it.
I honestly couldn’t help but wonder when they stated that it wasn’t the right place to highlight racism and black lives matter, they also thought whether racist people were always so considerate of the right time, place and way. Imagine someone about to be completely racist, stop and think “you know what? This may not be the right time. I think the appropriate time for me to display my racist thoughts and action will be let’s see, hmm how does 10 am on Tuesday sound? You know it’s not too early in the morning so I’m sure the recipient of the pain and hate I’m about to deliver has at least had their coffee. It is also not Monday that everyone kind of hates. That is just right, Tuesday at 10 am bodes just well”. How ridiculous does that sound? There is nothing comfortable and right about racism and countless lives of black men and women who constantly fight not to be judged by the basis of their skin and be given opportunities like their counterparts.
Gladly, OFCOM responded in a statement that they will not be investigating the broadcast. In a country that prides itself on freedom of speech, how hypocritical for these complainants to seek the exact opposite. The performance was not racist to white people, it did not highlight the police in a negative light. It simply showed us our reality. Could it be considered uncomfortable, yes, but so is racism! It is uncomfortable, to say the least.