Perri Kiely wants Diversity BLM routine's Bafta nom to restart racism debate despite death threats and 27,000 complaints
DIVERSITY dancer Perri Kiely hopes the group's Bafta nomination will reopen the controversy surrounding their BLM performance – despite its members suffering death threats and being subject to 27,000 Ofcom complaints.
Despite admitting he'd felt "genuine fear" at the "constant, personal threats" received after the Britain's Got Talent routine – which featured a reenactment of George Floyd's murder by police officer Derek Chauvin – the Dancing on Ice star said he was willing to face another backlash if it "keeps the conversation alive".
Perri, 25, said: "Touching on subjects as big as what we talked about, we were always going to get a lot of complaints.
"It would have been weirder to not talk about it so we did our job, we stood up for what’s right. Every single person on that stage is proud of that performance… and now we’re up for a BAFTA, how crazy is that?
"It happened, it needs to be spoken about not glossed over. Hopefully this gets everyone talking about it more – because we need to talk about it and we need to change.
"People can do it however they want, but we’re performers, that’s how we express ourselves."
Diversity's leader Ashley Banjo, 32, claimed he got "100 abusive tweets a minute", including death threats, following the performance in September last year.
His brother Jordan, 28, who also featured in I'm a Celebrity, revealed in March his children were abused and his car was covered in cement at the height of the ordeal.
Speaking about the time, Perri said: "We all got sent messages afterwards, but Ash creates the dances, he puts his name on them, so people complain to him.
"That was the hardest part. I felt the backlash, but when you see so many people directing them at someone you love… it was constant, personal threats and got really scary. But we got through it.
"Everyone had same response. It went from, ‘This is a bit weird’, to genuine fear. But we are so lucky we are so all so close. For a solo person, I don’t know how that would have worked.
"But we have our families with us, and the boys, so we’re lucky to have each other."
Two weeks ago, Diversity's performance was nominated for Must-See Moment at this year's Bafta TV awards alongside key scenes from Bridgerton, EastEnders, Gogglebox and The Mandalorian, as well as Nigella Lawson's odd pronunciation of microwave on her BBC show Cook, Eat, Repeat.
Perri – whose virtual dance tutorial is available on the Samsung KX Hub – and the rest of Diversity will discover if they've won the viewer-voted award when the ceremony takes place on June 6.
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