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Beyoncé Kendrick Lamar blackface Polish TV show Kuba Szmajkowski Pola Gonciarz

Source: Variety / Getty

A television show in Poland has gotten major flack for two Polish performers who performed Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar songs in blackface.

Social media users got upset as footage from the second episode of the current season of the Polish television show Twoja Twarz Brzmi Znajomo, their version of the reality competition show franchise, Your Face Sounds Familiar, revealed two of their competitors donning blackface. On the Sept. 9 show, singer Kuba Szmajkowski took the stage dressed like Kendrick Lamar to perform “Humble,” Lamar’s hit song from the Grammy Award-winning DAMN album.

Szmajkowski also rapped the N-word during his performance. He had given fans of the show a preview of the look on his Instagram account, right down to a meager attempt to recreate Lamar’s signature cornrows.

Pola Gonciarz, an actress, also made the choice to don blackface to perform Beyoncé’s “If I Were A Boy” in the same episode. She also shared a look at her darkening her skin for the performance on Instagram, which received sharp condemnation in the comments. “Skin colour is NOT a costume! FFS!” one commenter wrote.

Numerous people online blasted Szmajkowski and Gonciarz online. “Oh no Kuba, this isn’t okay,” one comment stated. “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.”

Unfortunately, it’s not the show’s first ill-advised brush with blackface. Past guests have done so to perform as Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder. In 2021, Tomasz Ciachorowski donned blackface while performing as Kanye West. At the time, the program released a statement defending the action: “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.”

This time, however, the show’s parent company Endemol Shine struck a different tone. “Banijay condemns Endemol Shine Poland’s local execution of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar,’ which contradicts our group’s global values,” a Banijay spokesperson said in a statement. “A subsequent internal investigation is underway and the appropriate measures will be taken.”

Polish TV Show Receives Backlash For Beyoncé & Kendrick Lamar Blackface Performances  was originally published on hiphopwired.com