Oti hits back, in­sist­ing Strictly is NOT racist

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By Katie Hind SHOWBUSINESS ED­I­TOR

STRICTLY star Oti Mabuse has hit back at crit­ics who ac­cuse the show of racism be­cause black per­form­ers are of­ten voted off early.

Pro­fes­sional dancer Ms Mabuse, 28, said: ‘There are only two of us – two black dancers. But we are the most saucy. It’s about peo­ple want­ing to watch us and en­joy us.

‘ Peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate us and t hey love us for our work and how we dance. That’s it. It isn’t about race, it’s about danc­ing.’

Death In Par­adise ac­tor Danny-John Jules, who ap­peared on Strictly last year, ac­cused the judges of favour­ing white dancers, say­ing: ‘They al­ways get off the black guy first.’ And in 2017, for­mer JLS singer As­ton Mer­ry­gold – who has a Ja­maican fa­ther and An­glo-Ir­ish mother – was voted off in week seven de­spite a string of bril­liant per­for­mances.

But Ms Mabuse, who was born in South Africa and has emerged as a star in her own right on BBC1’s The Great­est Dancer, said: ‘Race shouldn’t even come into any of this.

‘We are all in­te­grated and that’s the most im­por­tant thing.’

DE­FI­ANT: Oti Mabuse says Strictly is all about danc­ing

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