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Black Eyed Peas And Polish Government Are At Odds Over Rainbow Armbands

A junior coalition partner accused the Law and Justice (PiS) party of propagating LGBTQ ideology in response to the Black Eyed Peas' performance attire at the public television's New Year's Eve show.

Dr. Cooney Blades
Jan 05, 202357 Shares1243 Views
A junior coalition partner accused the Law and Justice (PiS) party of propagating LGBTQ ideology in response to the Black Eyed Peas' performance attire at the public television's New Year's Eve show.
The Black Eyed Peas agreed to perform at TVP's New Year's Eve event in Zakopane mountain resort after being invited by the station, which has been labeled as government-controlled by groups who monitor media bias. In a nod to the Polish government's homophobic policies, the band members donned rainbow armbands throughout their performance.
The state broadcaster's New Year's Eve of Dreams program, aired live from the Zakopane ski resort, had an audience of 8.3 million. An official in the government has spoken out against the "LGBT propaganda," calling it shameful. However, the major ruling party stayed out of the debate.
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LGBTQ In Poland

The Law and Justice (PiS)-led administration and President Andrzej Duda have both utilized anti-LGBT rhetoric to seek votes in the run-up to the 2019 and 2020 elections, despite the fact that being LGBT as a young person in Poland may still be painful.
Despite declining church attendance, Poland is one of Europe's most Catholic nations, but tolerance for people's sexual orientation is not the only issue at stake in this dispute. Money, Poland's place in the EU, and the survival of the current right-wing coalition government all play a part.
Headline act The Black-Eyed Peas took the stage, their members all sporting rainbow-colored armbands. After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, singer will.i.am expressed gratitude to Poles for their "open hearts and brains" in sheltering Ukrainian women and children.
Specifically mentioning the Jewish community, those of African origin, and the LGBTQ community, he dedicated the band's song Where Is the Love? to those who face prejudice throughout the year.

Black Eyed Peas Performance At New Year’s Eve Concert

The Black Eyed Peas agreed to perform at TVP's New Year's Eve event in Zakopane mountain resort after being invited by the station, which has been labeled as government-controlled by groups who monitor media bias. In a nod to the Polish government's homophobic policies, the band members donned rainbow armbands throughout their performance.
We are Black Eyed Peas, or Black Eyed Peace (…). We are not Black Eyed PiS. Unity, tolerance, understanding, oneness, respect, diversity and inclusion… That’s love.- William James Adams
Many onlookers assumed the band tricked TVP, which backs the Polish government, into believing something they didn't. Even though one of the TVP announcers said otherwise, the audience assumed the band member's attire had not been predetermined.
The far-right junior coalition partner PiS party, Solidary Poland, accused TVP of promoting LGBTQ "deviance" for public money, leading to a scuffle between the two parties.
Solidary Poland lawmaker Anna Siarkowska told Interia that TVP, which receives public funding, has shown its support for a movement promoting anti-Christian principles that are in conflict with Poland's constitutional order.
It is unacceptable,” she said, calling it necessary to figure out whether it was an independent decision by TVP or politicians gave it the green light. One way or another, it will have its political consequences.- Siarkowska
Party head and Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro has said that Solidary Poland would never support the promotion of LGBTQ on public media, an area where the party "fundamentally disagrees" with PiS and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Morawiecki has asked both Ziobro and Siarkowska to meet with him to explain what happened. It is unclear at this time how much these discussions will impact the future of the coalition.
MEP Joachim Brudziski (PiS) responded to charges from a coalition partner by calling PiS "a party of freedom" and said that PiS members do not care about people's (sexual) choices.
In recent years, local governments run by PiS were mostly responsible for the notorious "LGBT-free" resolutions criticized by Brussels, which caused the European Union to cut off funding for several towns under the town twinning scheme.

Reactions On Social Media

People responded to the armbands on various social media platforms.
LGBT promotion on TVP2. Disgrace! This isn't New Year's Eve of Dreams, it's New Year's Eve of Degeneracy.- Marcin Warchol, Poland's Deputy Justice Minister
Mr. Warchol accused the band of "selling their values for business" on Twitter when he questioned the singer why they had done shows in countries with considerably worse LGBTQ records, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Instead of avoiding nations like that, Will.i.am suggested performing there to promote tolerance. Moreover, how much is it going to cost? It's what he termed a "music career," he said.
We are the Black Eyed Peas. That's P-E-A-S, or you can say the Black Eyed Peace, or P-E-A-C-E, because we are about peace, equality and harmony. We are not the Black Eyed PiS. We stand for unity, love, tolerance.- The singer said
The band, who reportedly earned $1 million for their appearance, replaced ex-Spice Girl Melanie C at the last minute when she backed out due to problems that do not line with the communities I represent.

Controversy In The Polish Government

Law and Justice, the largest coalition partner in Poland's government, has publicly dissociated itself from the controversy over the national armband. When Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was asked about the controversy on Monday, he stated he stood behind "the family" but opposed limiting the "creative expression" of the bands involved.
United Poland, Mr. Warchol's coalition party, is notoriously opposed to LGBTQ rights and more EU integration. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, the party's head, is at odds with the prime minister because he believes the PM is prepared to cede sovereignty to Brussels in return for unlocking €35.4bn (£31bn) in EU pandemic recovery funding for Poland.
Concerns that Mr. Ziobro's judicial reforms might compromise the independence of Poland's courts have led the European Commission to delay the disbursement of that money.
However, without the cooperation of the minor United Poland party, PiS loses its parliamentary majority, and elections are expected this fall, making it difficult for Prime Minister Morawiecki to find a solution that would release the funds.
Mr. Ziobro keeps at it. The minister of justice has even cast doubt on whether or not the armband display is a compromise with Brussels.
Violence, the destruction of churches spitting at children and corrupting children… the LGBT flag is a symbol of intolerance and aggression. In this matter, United Poland fundamentally disagrees with Mateusz Morawiecki and PiS. We will never agree to the artistic promotion of LGBT on Polish television.- Mr Ziobro, The justice minister

Final Words

On New Year's Eve, during a TVP-sponsored event in Poland, the Black Eyed Peas wore rainbow-colored armbands to show their support for the LGBTQ community. Evidently, in reaction to anti-LGBTQ ideas propagated by government authorities, the foursome made the fashion statement.
As the main performers on TVP's program New Year's of Dreams, the four members of the musical group — will.i.am, Apl.de.ap, J. Rey Soul, and Taboo — all donned rainbow armbands during their performance.
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