Talent show sparks outrage with white singer’s blackface transformation to impersonate Bill Withers

Talent show sparks outrage with white singer’s blackface transformation to impersonate Bill Withers

Talent show sparks outrage with white singer’s blackface transformation to impersonate Bill Withers

A POLISH talent show has sparked outrage after a white singer used blackface to impersonate Bill Withers.

Viewers from all over the world have called out the impersonation show Your Face Sounds Familiar for being “racist and offensive”.

Instagram / twojatwarzbrzmiznajomo

The Polish show saw a white celebrity dress up in blackface[/caption]

The singing reality series, which has versions than run across European countries including Poland, Bulgaria and Spain, sees celebs impersonate a famous singer both vocally and visually. 

It’s not the first time that the predominantly white contestants have been assigned black musicians, with Beyonce and Tina Turner used in the lineup.

Instead of wearing similar clothing, the programme uses blackface on their celebrity guests, covering them in make-up and prosthetics.

Outraged viewers have lashed out on social media over the latest transformation, which saw female singer Maja Hyży impersonate Ain’t No Sunshine singer Bill Withers.

Instagram / twojatwarzbrzmiznajomo

Female singer Maja Hyży was impersonating Bill Withers in one recent episode[/caption]

Instagram / twojatwarzbrzmiznajomo

The Polish show defended their stance in a social media statement[/caption]

“This show needs to be cancelled if they’re going to continue doing this,” one woman wrote. “In what world is this OK?”

Another added: “Are you kidding me? Blackface? What year are we living in? This is just awful. Disgusting.”

“Blackface is not entertainment, this is horribly racist and offensive,” a third wrote. “This is not alright wherever in the world you are.”

“This is just f***ed up, this show just sucks,” a fourth agreed. “F***k this show, it’s horribly offensive.”

Instagram / twojatwarzbrzmiznajomo

Viewers have slammed the show for using blackface[/caption]

Instagram / twojatwarzbrzmiznajomo

It’s not the first time that white contestants have been covered in makeup and prosthetics[/caption]

As the backlash continued to mount on social media over the weekend as the clips circulated online, Your Face Sounds Familiar clapped back.

Writing on the Polish show’s Instagram page, they tried to give reasons for why they were “trying” to be as “as accurate” to the original singer as possible.

“We are very surprised with the number of negative comments regarding th TV show Your Face Sounds Familiar,” the statement began.

“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.

Instagram / twojatwarzbrzmiznajomo

The show defended the use of blackface[/caption]

“The producers and contestants of all previous series of the show had always one thing in mind – to recreate most accurately (vocally, movement-wise and visually) the big music stars which are selected for them randomly.

“A team of professionals watches over this process and they prepare the artist for their performance.”

The show attempted to divert attentions by focusing on the “charity aspect” of the show which they said was “incredibly important”.

They listed previous famous celebrities who impersonated black artists, including Kasia Skrzynecka as Tina Turner, Mariusz Totoszko as Stevie Wonder and Aleksandra Szwed as Beyonce.

The show has previously transformed white contestants into famous black singers

Critics were angered by the statement, agains slamming the show for “not being sorry” and demanding “an apology” for their continued use of blackface.

“Basically, they aren’t sorry they’ve done it in the past and didn’t catch any heat so they will just do it again,” one woman wrote.

“Where is the apology?” another asked, as a third said: “So they still don’t even acknowledge the problem. Do they not see how it’s racist?”

“Just because they’ve been doing it for years, it doesn’t mean it’s okay,” one man concluded. “A big TV show as well, they need to do better.”

Your Face Sounds Familiar has almost 50 shows around the world, launching in 2011 with the Spanish version Tu Cara Me Suena.


It comes as many British shows have faced scrutiny for their use of blackface in the past.

Following the Black Lives Matter movement last year, characters including Keith Lemon’s Bo Selecta and Come Fly With Me’s Precious Little were brought to the forefront.

Comedy series including Little Britain and Come Fly With Me were removed from Netflix and BBC iPlayer after the controversy.

BBC and BritBox both confirmed the TV shows have been taken down, telling viewers: “Times have changed.”


Talent show sparks outrage with white singer’s blackface transformation to impersonate Bill Withers