Singer Kuba Szmajkowski and actor Pola Gonciarz darkened their skin on Your Face Sounds Familiar, with Szmajkowski also wearing cornrows and using the N-word.
A polish TV show, Your Face Sounds Familiar, is facing backlash after singer Kuba Szmajkowski performed Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” in blackface. On Sept 9, Szmajkowski, attempted to impersonate Lamar by wearing fake cornrows, a fake beard, and even said the n-word during his performance. The singer’s performance ultimately earned him the winning title and a prize of 10,000 Polish Zloty.
“Oh no Kuba, this isn’t okay,” wrote one fan. “Producers of this show, what were you thinking? Kuba is an amazing talent who could have had a massive career internationally. But now this performance is out there.”
Another Instagram user wrote: “Still Blackface? Haven’t you learned yet?!” Another viewer commented, “Lol what kind of racism is this?”
On the same episode, actor Pola Gonciarz darkened her skin and performed Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy.” Each contestant posted videos of their respective transformations on social media.
Instagram users criticized her transformation, with one comment on her page read: “This is so incredibly misguided and ignorant. Blackface shouldn’t be done ever, anywhere. We should not put people’s skin color on like costumes.”
“Shocking that this kind of racism was allowed on TV in 2023,” remarked another.
The show has previously received backlash from viewers. Previous seasons have also featured contestants darkening their skin to impersonate Black performers. After receiving backlash when a white contestant used Blackface to portray Kanye West in 2021, the show shared a statement expressing their surprise at the critiques.
“The intention of each star performing on the show, as well as of the whole production team, is to recreate the original performance in the most precise manner, while honoring the original artist,” read the response.
Your Face Sounds Familiar is produced in Poland and originated in Spain in 2011.