Members of the American pop band Black Eyed Peas wore rainbow bracelets in support of the LGBT+ community during last night’s New Year’s Eve concert hosted by Polish state broadcaster TVP.
In recent years, the station has been involved in the ruling national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party’s campaign against what it calls “LGBT ideology.” After the concert, Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.I.am appeared to directly criticize PiS.
The show, which had a viewership of 8.3 million, sparked outrage from politicians from United Poland (Solidarna Polska), a hardline junior partner in the PiS coalition, who called it a “shame” and condemned the celebration. of “deviation”.
🧵04: @I am Will Y @Black Eyed Peas continues to send good vibes to the community of 🏳️🌈💪🏿🕎 live on air on homophobic state television of 🇵🇱 @TVP #TVP. And judging by Polish Twitter, the far right is pissed off. Check out my next post in the thread below. #QueerRights #Human rights https://t.co/ZVJ64eXEeS pic.twitter.com/IrqV3S5K7g
— Adam Potrykus (Stoffski) (@Adam__Potrykus) December 31, 2022
Black Eyed Peas were announced as the main act in the TVP masterpiece new year’s eve of dreamsa live show at the Zakopane mountain resort, after previous star, former Spice Girl Melanie C, withdrew, citing “issues that don’t align with the communities I support.”
During the concert, which reportedly cost public television $1 million, the band performed with rainbow bracelets and dedicated their hit song “Where Is Love?” “to unity,” naming communities that experience hate like Jews, people of African descent, and LGBTQ+ people.
“We are the Black Eyed Peas… or you can say Black Eyed Peace, because we are in favor of peace, equality, harmony. We are not the Black Eyed PiS,” singer Will.I.am said on his social media after the concert.
“We defend unity, love, tolerance, uniqueness,” he continued. “Sometimes you have to go where people don’t have the same views to inspire them about difference, to inspire them about what tolerance looks like.”
Gdy will i am (z 1.5 mln obserwujących na IG) wykłada: Jesteśmy The Black Eyed Peas. PEAS można a być też PEACE: pokój, równość, harmonia.
Nie jesteśmy Black Eyed PiS. Jesteśmy za jednością, miłością, tolerancją. Wystarczy posłuchać naszych piosenek”.
Drug to the lekcja dla TVP. pic.twitter.com/xmpTmzeRHd
—Sylwia Czubkowska (@sylvcz) December 31, 2022
The performance was criticized by many conservative figures, including two deputy government ministers.
“LGBT promotion on TVP2. MISFORTUNE! It is not a New Year’s Eve of dreams, but a New Year’s Eve of deviation,” Deputy Justice Minister Marcin Warchoł said in a tweet last night.
“Homopropaganda on TVP for $1 million”, wrote the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Janusz Kowalski. Both politicians hail from United Poland, whose leader, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, has often attacked so-called “LGBT ideology.”
Melanie C cancels a Polish state TV concert over ‘issues that don’t align with the communities I support’
However, Joanna Lichocka, a PiS MP and member of the National Media Council, which oversees public broadcasters, encouraged her coalition colleagues to have fun rather than comment on the performance.
“Gentlemen of United Poland, drink champagne on New Year’s Eve. Instead of lashing out politically even now. Poland wants to have fun today – turn off incitement. Have a good new year,” she wrote.
The TVP presenter in charge of the New Year’s concert, Tomasz Kammel, said on stage that everything was planned, “including all the elements of their outfits”.
Turning propaganda into public service broadcasting in Poland
PiS, which has been in power in Poland since 2015, used anti-LGBT rhetoric during the 2019 and 2020 election cycles to mobilize conservative voters, portraying what it called “LGBT ideology” as a foreign set of values that threatens to Poles, values, families and peoples. even the state itself.
As well as presenting news coverage critical of “LGBT ideology”, TVP has also produced its own material aimed at exposing the “goals, methods and money” behind Poland’s LGBT community.
Critics argue that this and other politically motivated campaigns carried out by TVP prove that it has become a means of “propaganda” for the ruling party.
Court orders Polish state broadcaster TVP to remove anti-LGBT film online
Main photo credit: TVP2, New Year’s Eve of Dreams (screenshot)
Alicja Ptak is a senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.
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