Britain’s Got Talent hit with Ofcom complaints over drag Titanic act: ‘Poor taste’

Britain’s Got Talent 2024 is the latest show to be hit with Ofcom complaints after viewers reported a drag queen’s rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from the hit film Titanic.

The UK’s TV watchdog received 78 complaints in relation to drag queen Chantaaal’s performance on the show on Saturday (25 May). “I’m about to become your favourite French femme fatale,” she said.

Dressed like the front of the doomed liner, and wearing a copy of main character Rose’s priceless necklace, Chantaaaal’s look captivated the audience. 

Britain’s Got Talent tonight: a drag queen dressed as #Titanic, complete with iceberg and ocean, singing ‘My heart will go on’. #BGT pic.twitter.com/XLVqtvYz1F

— Jane Hough (@AllThoseBefore) May 25, 2024

Although at first bemused, the judges, warmed to her performance. Alesha Dixon, Bruno Tonioli and Amanda Holden stood to cheer. All three, plus Simon Cowell, said “yes” to the act.

At one point in the performance, her cape lifted at the back to reveal what looked like an iceberg and the ocean; there was even a funnel-like creation and a life ring.

The performance concluded with Chantaaaal pulling out a whistle and calling “come back”, mimicking a scene towards the end of James Cameron’s multi-Oscar-winning blockbuster. 

The complaints seem to focus on the belief that she was making fun of the 1912 disaster, in which more than 1,500 people died. 

People on social media had mixed reactions, with one saying the act was “super distasteful and not funny in the slightest”, while another described it as in “poor taste”.  

Just watching it now and completely agree with you

— mika dehaan (@emmdeeaitch) May 26, 2024

Absoloutley awful. Watching the judges cackle at it was even worse

— Ham Ham (@HamHam044750901) May 25, 2024

A third claimed the act was “taking the p*ss out of the disaster that took so many lives”, while someone else wrote: “Extremely bad taste, making light of the awful tragedy.” 

Pretending you are serious for a minute…

A. He was laughing at the ridiculous film, not the tragedy

B. Hollywood made light of the tragedy (and many other tragedies), turning it into 2+ hours of entertainment for the masses

— Ali (@Muggsy14) May 25, 2024

But Chantaaaal was “laughing at the ridiculous film, not the tragedy”, someone else claimed. 

Absolutely right. I thought the same. How long does it take a tragedy to not be a tragedy any more but something to get laughs in a stand up routine. Would the Hillsborough disaster be funny in a hundred years? Or Grenfell? Or MEN Arena bombing? No!

— Anne Blackshaw (@AnneBlackshaw) May 25, 2024

In March, Ofcom received more than 350 complaints from viewers about Hollyoaks trans youth storyline, and in 2022, the watchdog dismissed more than 1,600 complaints about comedian Jordan Gray’s nude performance on Channel 4’s Friday Night Live.

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