Britain’s Got Talent faces backlash after ‘Jim Crow’ audition leaves viewers outraged

Brittany’s Got Talent It shocked some viewers during their first show when serial auditionee Jim Fitzpatrick returned dressed in a giant black crow costume, as people at home connected the performance to historic American racism associated with the phrase “Jim Crow”.

While the performer was never referred to as “Jim Crow” during his audition, a large number of ITV viewers were outraged at the costume, claiming that ITV should have known of the historical connection to racism.

The phrase “Jim Crow” refers specifically to repressive laws used to restrict the rights of African Americans, and is a term that originally dates back to the minstrel grind of the 1830s.

At the time, white actor Thomas Dartmouth Rice became famous for playing Jim Crow, a caricature of a black slave.

The phrase was then used colloquially to describe the later laws and customs that enforced racial segregation that spread across the US in the 1830s and onward.



Jim Fitzpatrick's performance dressed in a raven costume has sparked outrage from some viewers who claimed there was a racist connection to the "Jim Crow" laws in american history
Jim Fitzpatrick’s performance dressed in a raven costume sparked outrage from some viewers who claimed there was a racist connection to “Jim Crow” laws in American history.

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Head judge Simon Cowell seemed visibly stunned as the gargantuan creature descended from the studio rafters, as did the rest of the panel, but no one spoke out about the possible racist connotations.

A representative of Britain’s Got Talent said OKAY!: “At no time during his audition was Jim Fitzpatrick referred to as Jim Crow.

“No offense was intended with the performance and BGT prides itself on being a diverse and inclusive show, amplified through moments like the BAFTA Award-winning Diversity performance shown in the latest series.”

After the 63-year-old auditionee gave his name to the judges, Ant McPartlin looked into the camera and said, “He looks like a Jim.”



At no time during the audition was Jim Fitzpatrick mentioned as "Jim Crow"
At no time during the audition did he refer to Jim Fitzpatrick as “Jim Crow”.



The entire judging panel gave the auditionee the red cross.
The entire judging panel gave the auditionee the red cross.



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The artist then proceeded to do a very un-raven-like dance routine, prompting a mixed reaction from the audience.

But as laughter and cringing filled the studio, ITV watchers fumed on Twitter.

“Did I just see that? A crow named Jim? Jim Crow? Did people really laugh at that? Jim fucking Crow? Can any of the production crew google why that’s not cool? #BGT demanded a surprised onlooker. .



Simon Cowell was surprised when the black raven flew down from the rafters of the studio.
Simon Cowell was surprised when the black raven flew down from the rafters of the studio.



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Another person said: “Can’t believe @itv allows an act called Jim Crow on BGT.”

While a third commented: “I would have thought the show would have directed JIM to another name than the one he chose… I mean Jim Crow or Jim THE Crow, it doesn’t work on any level.”

“I suspect there are a ton of complaints after Jim Crow. How the hell [did] passing the edition,” guessed a fourth viewer, followed by: “Holy crap? They literally let a crow named Jim go on the show?

“Surely someone knows about Jim Crow? How did that happen?” they added.

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