A actuality TV singing competitors in Poland is below fireplace after two contestants used blackface to mimic Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé throughout an episode that aired over the weekend.
“Your Face Sounds Familiar” (or, in Polish, “Twoja Twarz Brzmi Znajomo”) seems in a number of nations, together with the United States, the place it ran on ABC for one season in 2014 and was referred to as “Sing Your Face Off.” The present encourages contestants to recreate the looks and sound of well-known singers as precisely as potential.
In Saturday’s episode of “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” the singer Kuba Szmajkowski received together with his rendition of Mr. Lamar’s “Humble.” Mr. Szmajkowski carried out in blackface and wore his hair in cornrows as a way to appear to be Mr. Lamar.
While Mr. Szmajkowski’s publish about his transformation obtained 1000’s of likes, a whole lot of individuals commented on it, lots of them expressing criticism and anger.
“This is top racism. Do you not see how inappropriate this is? Not to mention offensive? Wrong,” one consumer wrote.
Another contestant in Saturday’s episode, Pola Gonciarz, carried out Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy,” additionally utilizing blackface in an effort to evoke the look of the famous person.
“Your Face Sounds Familiar” is produced by Endemol Shine Poland, which is owned by the French firm Banijay. In an announcement, the corporate stated, “Banijay condemns Endemol Shine Poland’s local execution of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar,’ which contradicts our group’s global values.” A spokeswoman declined to supply extra particulars till an investigation is accomplished.
It’s not the primary time this system has come below fireplace for the usage of blackface. In 2021, a white contestant wore blackface to painting Kanye West performing “Stronger.”
In response to that criticism, the present stated the adverse feedback have been shocking. “The Polish edition of the show, seen as exemplary abroad, always tries to show great performances, which strive to be as close to the original as possible,” an Instagram publish from the present learn on the time.
This time round, “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” which is in its Nineteenth season, has not but publicly responded.
The present’s Instagram account signifies that a number of contestants have wearing blackface to carry out as Black singers, together with Snoop Dogg, Ray Charles, Bill Withers and Missy Elliott. Mia Moody-Ramirez, a professor at Baylor University in Texas who makes a speciality of how race is portrayed within the media, stated Mr. Szmajkowski’s efficiency was notably offensive due to the mix of blackface, cornrows and his use of a racial slur, which is among the many music’s lyrics.
She stated the continued use of blackface on the present may be as a result of the stigma surrounding it’s smaller in Poland, which has a inhabitants that’s overwhelmingly white, than it’s within the United States. About 97 p.c of Poland’s inhabitants identifies as ethnically Polish, based on Minority Rights Group International.
“We are living in a global society,” Dr. Moody-Ramirez stated. “If it is produced in one country, it is going to be seen around the world.”
In the United States, blackface dates again to early Nineteenth-century minstrel reveals, and the racist custom — despite the fact that extensively condemned — has endured, displaying up at bachelor events, in outdated images of politicians and elsewhere. The recognition of blackface was at its top within the early twentieth century and has waned sharply for the reason that Nineteen Fifties, however it has not disappeared world wide.
In Europe, too, there was one thing of a reckoning. In Britain in 2020, some comedy reveals that included blackface or racial slurs have been faraway from streaming platforms, together with BBC’s iPlayer and Netflix. And within the Netherlands, a vacation custom by which individuals costume in blackface to painting Black Pete, a servant to St. Nicholas, is slowly altering.