Ashley Banjo shares photo of his kids joking 'one is brown, one is white - that should confuse the racists'

Ashley Banjo and his wife Francesca Abbott. (Getty Images)

Diversity star and Britain's Got Talent judge Ashley Banjo has shared a picture of his children on social media to "lighten the mood" as he faced a vicious backlash of racist abuse from online trolls.

Official complaints over Diversity's dance inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement on the ITV talent show on Saturday September 5have increased to almost 22,000, and Banjo and other members of the group have received a torrent of racial insults.

Banjo, 31, shared a picture of himself on a walk with his 19-month-old daughter Rose and six-month-old son Micah on Instagram captioned: "There's been a lot of negativity recently so I thought I'd lighten the mood with a picture of me completing some dad duties... One child is brown and one is white ... That should confuse the racists #diversity #family."

The BGT judge - who is standing in for Simon Cowell after he broke his back - shared the happy family portrait just hours after publishing some of the racial abuse he has received on social media since Diversity's dance performance, which ended with the troupe 'taking the knee' to highlight Black Lives Matter.

Banjo, who is married to fellow dancer Francesca Abbott, shared a selection of the comments he had received on social media, insisting it was not "criticism" but "racism" and "hate".

He said: "I didn't want to even shed light on any of this directly. But here's just a small selection from the past week.

"And please don't worry about or feel sorry for me... Feel sorry for the people that endure this kind of abuse and have no voice or platform. Feel sorry for the people that have been singled out, abused and in some cases murdered because of the colour of their skin. The only saving grace is that this is the vast minority...

"But for all the people asking or wondering - yes it is very real and yes it does exist."

Some of the shocking comments shared by Banjo include one which said: "How dare a bunch of blacks call themselves 'Diversity!'"

Another wrote: "Diversity of race, race mixing, cultures diversity, etc... is never going to bring anything 'vibrant!' We are tribes, we like our own. A race war is coming, and the media fuel the fires."

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) meets (L to R) Anthony McPartlin, Declan Donnelly, Ashley Banjo and Perri Kiely attends the Prince's Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success awards at Odeon Leicester Square on March 12, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 31: Members of dance troupe Diversity (Back row L-R) Ian McNaughton, Warren Russell, Terry Smith, Ike Ezekwugo, Ashley Banjo, Jordan Banjo (Front Row L-R) Sam Craske, Perri Kiely, Mitchell Craske, Jamie McNaughton and Matthew McNaughton attend a press conference after winning the live final of Britain's Got Talent at Sony Headquarters on May 31, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Ashley Banjo of Diversity attends a photocall to launch Disney XD at Covent Garden on August 6, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Ashley Banjo (top) and Perri Luc Kiely (bottom) of Diversity attend a photocall to launch Disney XD at Covent Garden on August 6, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Judges Adam Garcia, Kimberly Wyatt and Ashley Banjo appear on Sky TV's Got To Dance at the Maidstone Studios in Kent. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Ashley Banjo and Jordan Banjo attend the National Television Awards 2012 at the 02 Arena on January 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
NOTTINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Perri Luc Kiely and Ashley Banjo of Diversity perform during the 2012 Digitized: In a Game Tour on stage at Nottingham Capital FM Arena on April 3, 2012 in Nottingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images)
NOTTINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Perri Luc Kiely, Ashley Banjo and Mitchell Craske of Diversity perform during the 2012 Digitized: In a Game Tour on stage at Nottingham Capital FM Arena on April 3, 2012 in Nottingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Ashley Banjo of dance troupe Diversity performs at MEN Arena on April 9, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Ashley Banjo of dance troupe Diversity performs at MEN Arena on April 9, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Ashley Banjo of dance troupe Diversity performs at MEN Arena on April 9, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Ashley Banjo of dance troupe Diversity performs at MEN Arena on April 9, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)
GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 19: Ashley Banjo of Diversity, Tinie Tempah winner of Best Hip Hop/Grime MOBO Award and Kimberley Wyatt at the 18th anniversary MOBO Awards with Diversity's Ashley and Kimberley Wyatt at The Hydro on October 19, 2013 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Martin Grimes/Getty Images for MOBO)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Ashley Banjo and 'Diversity' perform during the first live show of 2014's "Got To Dance" at Earls Court on August 25, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Adam Garcia, Kimberley Wyatt and Ashley Banjo judge the first live show of 2014's "Got To Dance" at Earls Court on August 25, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Ashley Banjo and Diversity with the Marine Band perform onstage during the Invictus Games Closing Concert at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on September 14, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Ashley Banjo and Diversity perform onstage during the Invictus Games Closing Concert at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on September 14, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Ashley Banjo, Perri Kiely and Diversity perform onstage during the Invictus Games Closing Concert at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on September 14, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Redferns via Getty Images)
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Diversity found fame after winning the third series of Britain's Got Talent in 2009. Other members include Ashley's brother Jordan and Perri Kiely.

Their performance earlier this month was watched by over five million people on the Saturday evening family entertainment show. Inspired by the death of George Floyd, the emotional performance included a moment when lead dancer Ashley Banjo lay beneath a figure in police uniform who placed his knee on Banjo's neck.

George Floyd died aged 46 after a white Minneapolis police officer was seen pinning him to the ground by kneeling on his neck as he pleaded for air.

Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and has been charged with manslaughter and third-degree murder.

Following Floyd's death, anti-racism protests were held around the world.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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