2020 has been a crazy year, we started the year on the verge of World War Three, Brexit, COVID-19 and protests in Hong Kong and Black Lives Matter. Protests and social movements have really switched up the conversation, with more people speaking out about racial injustices and systematic racism. TV shows and supermarkets are contributing to the conversation, the downside however is the number of people trying to sweep such a conversation under the carpet; from actors to politicians who it seems as though they don't think it's necessary. To me, this is ridiculous, (and utterly laughable). Just because you don't experience something does not mean it does not exist.
I am talking particularly about Britains Got Talent (BGT) and the amount of complaints Ofcom have received about Diversity using dance to show the systematic racism in America, with the focus on the murder of George Floyd (Ofcom recieved a whooping 24,500 complaints), Alesha Dixon the following week (in support of Black Lives Matter) wore a necklace with the organisations symbol which Ofcom received 1,900 complaints (who seriously gets upset over a necklace?!) and on Saturday night just gone, Nabil’s comedy performance, he did a phenomenal job of combining politics with comedy. To me, it is insane that there’s a high number of complaints, over the raising of the issues in society such as racial injustices and systematic racism. Social media and lockdown of course has not helped this, and have essentially added fuel to the fire - as no one really has anything better to do.
Complaints about Nabilu’s performance on the Official Britains Got Talents Twitter account ranged from “I felt very uncomfortable” to the overused comment of “I’m boycotting BGT, you should too” and not forgetting “this is hateful and divisive” (it really wasn’t). But Nabil at the end of his performance rightly pointed out that comedy is subjective, and he also apologized if he offended anyone! Realistically, he shouldn’t have apologised, his performance was funny but it also raised injustices, that people actually have to live with. To the people commenting that a dance performance, a necklace and a comedy performance made them feel uncomfortable really shows why such things need to be raised: people have no empathy, they’re happy in their own world, wrapped in cotton wool.
The most baffling thing to me, is the fact art has always been inspired by politics and current events, and never has it been such an issue, complaints have never been on such a large scale, so why is it an issue now? Why is it, when the black community has started to speak out against injustices they face, is there such an uproar and huge amount of anger? Because it makes groups who have always been at the ‘top’ feel uncomfortable and angry. This shows people are clearly angry about the wrong thing: instead of being angry that it's 2020 and there’s still a lot of racism about, they’re angry that the media is being used to tackle the issues which have been kept ‘under wraps’. Unfortunately for those people who get angry over the wrong thing, this won’t be going away. The voices are going to louder. People will be united and hopefully sometime in the not so distant future; systematic racism and racial injustices will be a thing of history (where it belongs to be).