Ashley Banjo declares he’s ‘disgusted’ by the ‘hate, racism and negativity’ aimed at Prince Harry and Meghan as he recalls their support for him amid uproar over BLM-inspired BGT routine
- Diversity’s BLM-inspired routine garnered nearly 25,000 Ofcom complaints
- Amid the backlash Harry and Meghan reached out to Ashley with a phone call
- The Diversity star, 32, said he was ‘grateful’ to hear from the couple
- He said they imparted their ‘knowledge’ and said they were ‘there to lean on’
Ashley Banjo has declared he’s ‘disgusted’ by the ‘hate, racism and hatred’ directed at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as he threw his support behind the couple.
The Diversity star, 32, took to Instagram to share a tweet reminding his followers that the couple had supported him last year amid the Ofcom backlash over his Black Lives Matter-inspired routine on Britain’s Got Talent with his dance troupe.
And as former senior royals weather a storm from their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they also recounted their own experiences with racism, Ashley lashed out at the way the couple themselves had been treated.
Disgusted: Ashley Banjo has declared he’s ‘disgusted’ by the ‘hate, racism and hatred’ directed at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as he threw his support behind the couple
Taking to Twitter on Monday night, he wrote: ‘Harry and Meghan told me over the phone they were there for me and they understood more than most…
‘I’m forever thankful for that support. Nothing but the highest love and respect for them both. #MeghanandHarryonOprah.’
He then shared the tweet on Instagram, where he took aim at Harry and Meghan’s detractors, writing in a caption: ‘ The only reason I bring this up now is because they reached out when they really didn’t need to.
‘They saw what was happening in this country surrounding BLM and the @diversity_official performance and wanted to offer their support in what was a really tough time for me and my family.
Storm: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at the centre of new storm, after their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey was broadcast around the world
‘But after hearing what they had to say last night the conversation made even more sense to me… I’ve been so disgusted reading some of the blatant hate, racism and negativity spoken online.
‘At least they seem to have found some level of happiness for themselves and their family. As I said in the tweet – Nothing but love and respect for them both ❤️ #harryandmeghan.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview, which aired in the US on Sunday and in the UK the following night, sent shockwaves around the world as the couple laid bare the extent of their rift with senior members of the royal family..
They accused an unnamed relative of racism, suggesting the person had asked ‘how dark’ their baby would be; said they had been driven out of Britain, in part, by racism; and accused the Palace machinery of failing to support a ‘suicidal’ Meghan.
Harry revealed an astonishing rift with his father Prince Charles, saying his family had cut him off financially while suggesting the Queen had been badly advised and had cancelled a meeting scheduled at Sandringham.
Support: The Diversity star reminded his followers that the couple had supported him last year amid the Ofcom backlash over his Black Lives Matter-inspired routine on Britain’s Got Talent
Meghan also accused her sister-in-law Kate of making her cry; suggested senior royals plotted to ensure Archie would never have a title or adequate security; and said officials had failed to stand up for the couple against ‘racist’ commentary, while lying to protect other royals.
And has the fallout continues amid the public’s wait for Buckingham Palace to respond to the explosive allegations, Ashley Banjo has added his name to the growing list of celebrities supporting Harry and Meghan.
Back in November, Ashley said he was ‘grateful’ to hear from the couple who he revealed shared a lot of their ‘knowledge’ with him during the hour-long call.
Diversity’s BLM-inspired routine garnered nearly 25,000 complaints to broadcast regulator Ofcom as the performance became the second-most complained about television moment of the decade.
Amid the controversy, Harry and Meghan reached out to Ashley to offer their support, as they told them they were always there for him to ‘lean on’.
Movement: Diversity’s BLM-inspired routine garnered nearly 25,000 complaints to Ofcom as the performance became the second-most complained about TV moment of the decade
Discussing the call during an appearance on ITV’s Lorraine, Ashley said: ‘Harry and Meghan gave me a call. I was sat outside in my garden and Harry and Meghan gave me a call and we had a chat for about an hour…
‘We spoke things through and they just told me that they were there for me and I can always lean on them.
‘They were really great about it and shared a lot of knowledge with me. They opened my eyes to a lot of things I wasn’t aware of actually, so I was really grateful to both of them.’
On the topic of the complaints following the performance, Ashley admitted he was really ‘proud’ of them because it opened up a conversation.
He said: ‘It become a really important moment for race relations in this country and something that I think hopefully something people will remember…
Lean on me: Amid the controversy, Harry and Meghan reached out to Ashley to offer their support, as they told them they were always there for him to ‘lean on’
‘I’m really proud of it and proud of those complaints. It needs people on both sides of this argument to talk.
While the performance garnered almost record-breaking levels of complaints, it also received a lot of positive reaction from viewers.
Ashley explained: ‘There was a lot of positivity. There was incredible outreach, I had conversations with people I didn’t expect to…’
‘That’s why I was really unhappy with some of reaction to what happened, for people to say we cant use our platform to speak our own truth. It’s a bit of an odd thing that people want to censor our creativity.’
‘That’s the world we live in if you’re going to open yourself up, you have to expect both sides of the argument… I would take it every day of the week if it meant starting those kinds of conversations.
Call: Discussing the call, Ashley said, ‘Harry and Meghan gave me a call. I was sat outside in my garden and Harry and Meghan gave me a call and we had a chat for about an hour’
Ashley also suggested that it wouldn’t be the last controversial dance the group person, as it appears the complaints have only fuelled their passion.
He said: ‘All of the tours we do are based on our experience and what’s happening. Excited about this one as we’ve got so much to say. What happened this year will be summarised and expanded on in the tour.
Last year, Prince Harry praised Diversity’s ‘amazing’ Black Lives Matter-inspired dance routine on BGT, as he called for an end to ‘structural racism’ in Britain.
In a wide-ranging interview from the Sussexes’ £11million California mansion, Prince Harry said he was ‘surprised’ by the thousands of complaints made to Ofcom after the controversial performance.
The Duke of Sussex also revealed his ‘awakening’ to issues faced by black people after meeting his wife Meghan.
Racism: During their interview with Oprah, Harry and Meghan accused an unnamed relative of racism, suggesting the person was ‘concerned’ about ‘how dark’ their baby would be
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Harry revealed he spoke to Diversity’s leader Ashley Banjo after the troupe’s routine sparked a massive backlash.
He said: ‘We spoke to Ashley Banjo a few weeks ago, straight after the Britain’s Got Talent situation.
‘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.’
He added: ‘They were really great about it and shared a lot of knowledge with me. They opened my eyes to a lot of things I wasn’t aware of actually, so I was really grateful to both of them’
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