Just over a week ago, Diversity delivered a powerful routine inspired by the events of 2020, which included references to the killing of George Floyd, and the global protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement that followed.
Although the performance was met with widespread praise from viewers at the time, in the week that followed it was reported that more than 15,000 people had complained to Ofcom about it.
During Monday’s edition of Good Morning Britain, Piers – who was a judge on BGT when Diversity were crowned winners – showed his support for the group, in a short speech addressed to those who had made the complaints.
The presenter said: “If you can’t handle that without feeling the need to never watch BGT again or to complain to Ofcom, there’s something wrong with you. You, you’re the problem. You’re part of the problem.
“By the way, if you don’t like me saying this, then don’t watch us either. Don’t watch Good Morning Britain. Because I agree with Ashley Banjo and Diversity.
“And if you can’t handle it, Britain, wake up.”
Piers has previously raised eyebrows on a number of occasions when it comes to the subject of race, including during an interview with British rapper Dizzee Rascal earlier in the summer.
And ITV received a warning from Ofcom earlier this year, after more than 1,500 people complained about an incident that saw Piers mimicking a Chinese advert featuring the Queen’s grandson, Peter Phillips.
Since their performance, Diversity have received public support from BGT judge Alesha Dixon, who said she “stands by and supports [Ashley Banjo] and Diversity” in a tweet posted over the weekend.
Last week, Diversity leader Ashley Banjo shared a screenshot of a comment aimed at himself, boxer Anthony Joshua and Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, urging them not to “say anything about racism”.
He said: “For the people sending this:1. You do not represent or speak for the Great British public. 2. Silence was never and will never be an option.”
“3. Change is inevitable... Get used to it.”
Alesha also commented on this post last week, writing that such critics could “kiss my Black ass”.
Since Diversity’s performance in the BGT semi-final, both Ashley and his brother Jordan Banjo have spoken out about the racist abuse they have received.
As well as performing, Ashley is also currently serving as a guest judge on Britain’s Got Talent, filling in for Simon Cowell, who recently underwent surgery on his back when he fell off an electric bike.
Good Morning Britain airs every weekday from 6am on ITV.