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Black Eyed Peas reflect on wearing rainbow armbands in Poland: ‘Queer rights are human rights’

"Wearing rainbow armbands on stage was our way of sending a very clear, unmistakable message"

By Charlotte Manning

Black Eyed Peas
The group donned the armbands on Polish TV (Image: EPA)

The Black Eyed Peas have shared exactly why they wore rainbow armbands in a ‘controversial’ performance in Poland.

The band, who have been active for nearly three decades, are set to headline Brighton & Hove Pride in August.

It will be the bands first ever Pride show and they’ve promised an unforgettable performance.

Ahead of their landmark set, Black Eyed Peas’ frontman has reflected on their New Year’s Eve show in Poland. They were condemned by government figures for wearing rainbow armbands.

“Wearing rainbow armbands on stage was our way of sending a very clear, unmistakable message”

The group, comprised of,, J. Rey Soul and Taboo, appeared on Polish state broadcaster PVT for New Year’s Eve. They donned the symbol as a show of support for the LGBTQ+ community. has recalled wanting to make it clear via the state-owned broadcast that the government’s stance on LGBTQ+ issues was not shared by them.

“Wearing armbands to show our position, which we did in consultation with the network’s executives, was our way of sending a clear message – we love all our fans and believe that everyone should be free to love whoever they choose without government interference or suppression,” he told

“Queer rights are human rights”

“Wearing rainbow armbands on stage was our way of sending a very clear, unmistakable message. Black Eyed Peas stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community, that queer rights are human rights.”

The performance was condemned by the Law and Justice Party (PiS), who currently are in charge under President Andrzej Duda. He has an anti-LGBTQ+ agenda. 

He continued: “We do not agree with any government policies that allow some citizens to be treated differently, have fewer rights, or be put in harm’s way. Whether that is based on sexuality, gender, race, ability, or country of origin.”

Poland currently holds the worst record on LGBTQ+ rights in the EU behind Romania and Bulgaria, according to ILGA-Europe.

Spice Girls’ legend Mel C withdrew from performing at the same event days ahead of it taking place live from the ski resort of Zakopane.

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