Ashley Banjo: Harry and Meghan offered dancer ‘support’ in private call after BGT drama
Meghan and Harry: Oprah on why couple agreed to interview
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Following ITV’s airing of Meghan and Prince Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey [originally broadcast on CBS] on Monday night, the Royal couple were inundated with support from celebrities and fans alike. Among those famous faces to back the pair was Ashley Banjo, who revealed they had also offered their support to him when he faced racial backlash following Diversity’s Britain’s Got Talent performance inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement last year.
Harry and Meghan told me over the phone they were there for me and they understood more than most
Ashley said that Harry and Meghan had contacted him after the dance troupe caused significant uproar on the competition, which sparked thousands of complaints and subjected the dancers to a torrent of racial abuse.
Taking to Twitter to share his views of the situation, he penned: “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.”
He added: “Nothing but the highest love and respect for them both #MeghanandHarryonOprah.”
Fans immediately rushed to share their opinions, with many agreeing with Ashley and showing their appreciation for Meghan and Harry’s kind words.
“This is so very sad to watch. So glad you have that support Ash. Last year was traumatic in more ways than one. You have support from lots of us,” one said.
Another added: “Totally agree, I have the deepest respect for them, it’s absolutely heartbreaking listening to what they have been through after all they did was ask for help.”
A third wrote: “So happy to read this. It is like no one is listening to their story. Harry has just said his dad stopped taking his calls, let that sink in. So much respect and love for them both.”
“This interview is so heartbreaking, our country failed them. There’s not much hope for anyone if we can drive our own Prince out,” a fourth noted.
Someone else commented: “Praise. We stand for each other, with each other and support each other no matter the situation. Love you.”
Others however, thought quite the opposite, with one snapping: “She’s an actress, and this whole ‘show’ is based very thinly on the truth… most of it is an overstated one way argument.”
A second agreed: “Then they chose to step aside from being royals…their choice.”
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“They slander his family knowing that they can’t respond, now that’s bullying,” a third retorted.
While others believed Ashley’s admission “didn’t happen”, he knows the truth about that conversation and revealed he was forever grateful to have the support from everyone during that tough time in September of last year.
The dancer and his fellow co-stars became the target of racial abuse and threats after performing their dance routine on BGT, which saw the ITV show receive more than 15,500 complaints.
The routine included the globally covered death of George Floyd and subsequent protests around the world, but many viewers complained and criticised it for being “too political” for a Saturday night entertainment program.
At the time, Ashley thanked fans for their support saying he feels “positive, proud, happy and confident” about the performance and emphasised that the negative responses have been “in the minority”.
But among those messages were “racial abuse to threats, to just some really nasty stuff”.
He said in a video posted to Instagram: “I am not going to give it any more time than it deserves.
“All of the nastiness and the racism shows exactly why this performance was needed and exactly why this conversation has now arisen from it. Racism is very real, especially after this performance.”
Other members of Diversity said they had been “bombarded” by hateful messages from trolls in the days since the TV event.
ITV stood by the performance in a statement, arguing that it opened up “important topics of conversation” and met the criteria for family viewing.
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