The Black Eyed Peas have opened up about supporting the LGBTQ+ community during their controversial NYE performance in Poland.
Back in December, the Grammy-winning group performed at the mountain resort of Zakopane for TVP’s New Year’s Eve of Dreams special.
During their extensive performance, which 8.3 million people across Poland viewed, the threesome wore rainbow armbands to signify their allyship with the LGBTQ+ community.
In addition to their act of solidarity, the group also dedicated their hit track Where Is The Love to “unity” before highlighting other marginalised communities.
Unfortunately, the Black Eyed Peas’ inclusive performance was immediately met with backlash and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric by some of the country’s conservative politicians and citizens.
“LGBT promotion in TVP2. Disgrace! It’s not a New Year’s Eve of Dreams but a New Year’s Eve of Deviance,” said anti-LGBTQ+ lawmaker Marcin Warchoł on Twitter.
At the time, lead singer will.i.am released a video statement doubling down on the group’s decision to wear rainbow armbands.
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“We are the Black Eyed Peas… or you can say, Black Eyed Peace, because we are for peace, equality, harmony. We are not the Black Eyed PiS,” he said via Twitter.
In a recent interview with Metro, will.i.am gave further insight into their inclusive performance and the importance of standing up for the LGBTQ+ community.
“It was important to us that the live audience and the fans watching the New Year’s Eve show on TV understood that while the event was being broadcast by a state-owned network, that the position of the government leaders about LGBTQ+ issues were not shared by us,” he explained.
“Wearing rainbow armbands on stage was our way of sending a very clear, unmistakable message: that Black Eyed Peas stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community, that queer rights are human rights…”
will.i.am’s recent interview comes a month before the trio headline Brighton Pride 2023 – which is set to take place from 4 to 7 August.
In addition to the I Got A Feeling group, Mel C, Steps, Zara Larsson, Jax Jones, Honey Dijon, and Drag Race UK star The Vivienne are also set to perform at the renowned LGBTQ+ event.