In a star-studded night at the 61st annual Czech music awards, the Cesky Slavik for 2023, celebrated artists like Ewa Farna, Marek Ztraceny, and the band Kabat basked in the spotlight, being honored with golden slavik awards. The stage in Prague echoed with applause when Ewa Farna also received the prestigious Absolute Slavik award. But instead of the night being solely about celebrating music, it was marred by an incident that sent shockwaves across the music industry and audience alike.
Racist Incident Overshadows the Gala
Jan Bendig, a singer and former talent show contestant, was subjected to an act of hate during the ceremony. Bendig, 29, was targeted with racist insults and had white powder believed to be flour, thrown at him. The incident is under investigation by the police, adding a grim taint to the otherwise jubilant event.
Bendig's Heartbreaking Response
Bendig expressed his heartbreak over the attack, especially after having spent half a year preparing his outfit with a designer, looking forward to the event. He discussed the exhaustion of constantly having to prove himself and face prejudice due to his skin color. Despite the distress, Bendig invited the unknown assailant to his concert, condemning the violence and urging for inspiration and change in perceptions towards Roma and other marginalized communities.
Industry Colleagues Rally in Support
Many in the industry, including Slovak rapper Patrik "Rytmus" Vrbovsky and his wife Jasmina Alagic, publicly supported Bendig. Alagic sent a heartfelt message to Bendig on social media, showcasing the solidarity within the music industry. This incident at the Cesky Slavik 2023 serves as a stark reminder of the rampant prejudice that still exists within society and the need for change, even in spaces meant for celebration and unity.