The Black Eyed Peas showcased their support for the LGBTQ+ community during their recent NYE performance on Poland’s state broadcaster. 

On 31 December, the Grammy-winning group took the stage at the mountain resort of Zakopane for TVP’s New Year’s Eve of Dreams special.

Throughout their extensive performance, which aired to 8.3 million people across the country, the foursome 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. 

Unsurprisingly, the Black Eyed Peas’ inclusive performance was immediately slammed by conservative politicians and individuals, who spewed anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric across social media.

“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.

In response to the hatred, lead singer released a video statement doubling down on the group’s decision to wear rainbow armbands.

“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.

The Law and Justice Party (PiS) have been the ruling political party in Poland since 2015. 

Because of their conservative and archaic ideals, the party has targeted the LGBTQ+ community and even inspired “LGBT-free zones.” 

“We stand for unity, love, tolerance, oneness. Sometimes you gotta go where people don’t have the same views to inspire them on difference, to inspire them on what tolerance looks like,” he continued. also replied to Warchoł’s aforementioned tweet by encouraging him to love and honour different types of people – which resulted in the PiS member labelling the singer a “hypocrite” due to his past performances in other anti-LGBTQ+ countries like Qatar. 

“We went to these places to spread LOVE… why boycott when you can go directly to the source that needs to be inspired and try your hardest to inspire them and spread LOVE… it’s called #LOVE,” replied. 

While the Black Eyed Peas continue to face immense backlash from Poland’s PiS politicians, many LGBTQ+ activists and allies in the country have praised the group for their inclusivity and support.

One person tweeted: “Awesome, guys! Amen! Make love, not war!” 

Another user wrote: “Wil.I.Am maan. Black Eyed Peas, thank you so much. You don’t know how much this means to us :’) Poland is very LGBTQ-phobic country (especially the government). Thank you so much.” 

The Black Eyed Peas’ performance came a few days after Spice Girls star Melanie C pulled out of the aforementioned show.

“In light of some issues that have been brought to my attention that do not align with communities I support, I’m afraid I will no longer be able to perform in Poland as planned on New Year’s Eve,” Mel C wrote. 

“I hope to be back there very soon. Hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas, and best wishes for 2023.”