The post Kendrick Lamar Impersonator Uses Blackface and N-Word on Polish Game Show appeared first on Consequence.
A Polish contestant on a talent game show is raising eyebrows for his on-air impersonation of Kendrick Lamar, complete with blackface makeup and use of the N-word.
Singer Kuba Szmajkowski, who is white, was a recent participant on Your Face Sounds Familiar, a European series wherein contestants try to do faithful impersonations of famous musicians. Ahead of his performance of K. Dot’s 2017 hit “HUMBLE,” Szmajkowski posted an Instagram video of himself in a hair and makeup chair, being outfitted with dark brown face makeup and a feeble attempt at some cornrows.
Despite this, and his choice to not censor the N-word, HipHopDX reports that Szmajkowski still won Season 19 of Your Face Sounds Familiar. It wasn’t until footage of the performance began circulating across the pond that he and the show’s producers came under fire for the racist gimmick. (It’s also just a really, really bad Kendrick impersonation.)
But this is just the latest instance of a long, weird history with appropriating Blackness in the Your Face Sounds Familiar franchise — apparently, previous seasons have also seen white folks portray people like Snoop Dogg, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, and… is that supposed to be Tina Turner?
The show currently airs iterations in a number of markets, including former Yugoslavia and parts of central Europe. As writer Catherine Baker pointed out in a 2021 essay, these countries don’t have the same history of colonialism and racial oppression that the US and UK do, which might be part of why a white guy throwing around the N-word in blackface on TV doesn’t get as much flack in Poland as it does in the Western hemisphere.
The producers of Tvoje tvář má známý hlas, the Czech Republic’s version of the show, did the right thing in 2021 (albeit a bit late) by announcing that they’d ban blackface on the show. Maybe Szmajkowski’s take on “HUMBLE” is just ear-grating to get the Poland producers on board, too. You can watch a snippet of it below, although we advise against it.