Dave’s Brit Awards performance: Ofcom dismisses racism complaints

More than 300 people contacted the communications regulator to argue that the rapper's performance was 'racist against white people'

OFCOM HAS dismissed complaints of racism in response to Dave’s widely-acclaimed performance at this year’s Brit Awards.

Dave performed Black, a single from Psychodrama, which was named Album of the Year at the Brits. 

On the night the 21-year-old rapped a new verse in which he referenced the sufferings of the Windrush generation, Meghan Markle’s mistreatment by sections of the press and the failure to rehouse Grenfell victims. He also called the prime minister a racist.

“It is racist, whether or not it feels racist. The truth is our prime minister is a real racist,” he rapped.

Ofcom received 309 complaints about the south London rapper’s performance at the ceremony on February 18.

The communication’s regulator has made the decision to reject the complaints, which were submitted on the basis that Dave’s performance was “racist against white people”.

An Ofcom spokesperson told The Voice: “In our view, the performance was likely to be within most viewers’ expectations of this well-established awards ceremony, where it’s not uncommon for artists to express personal political views during their performances.”

This is not the first time the hit single which celebrates blackness has provoked the ire of sections of the public.

In February last year, several BBC Radio 1 DJs responded to listeners’ complaints about the song by telling them to “educate themselves” and “listen to the song with open ears”.

Greg James told those taking issue with the song: “If you’ve got a problem with the content of the Dave track, the problem is with you.”

Annie Mac said: “It’s so very frustrating to see so many negative comments from listeners when I, and other BBC R1 DJs play the Santandave track Black. Let me get this straight, if you are genuinely offended by a man talking about the colour of his skin and how it has shaped his identity, then that is a problem for you.

“It’s a real issue that a song so intelligent, so thought provoking so excellently put together can actually offend you. It’s not just okay to talk about race. It is crucial. Listen to the song with open ears. Please.”

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