Outrage after talent show contestant uses 'blackface' in performance

07 November 2018 - 12:19 By Odwa Mjo
Contestant Boogie won the variety competition after impersonating rapper Drake.
Contestant Boogie won the variety competition after impersonating rapper Drake.
Image: Instagram/Twojatwarzbrzmiznajomo

A video of a Polish variety show contestant wearing blackface while performing Drake's Hotline Bling has been doing the rounds on social media.

Th talent show, Twoja, Twarz Brzmi Znajomo which means "your face sounds familiar," is no stranger to contestants putting on blackface. The contestants impersonate musicians in their performances, which include drastic transformations. Contestants have previously used blackface to impersonate Jason Derulo, Tina Turner, Rihanna, Cardi B, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.

The contestant, known as Boogie, performs the rapper's single Hotline Bling while he mimics the music video. 

Despite the backlash, the show is sticking by its guns. In an Instagram statement, it said they were "very surprised by the number of comments" about the performance.

''The intention of each star performing on the show is to recreate the original performance in the most precise manner."

Blackface is a centuries old form of theatre make-up used by non-black performers to portray black characters. It is considered by many to be racist and offensive as it has been used to mock the appearance of black people.

Blackface has sparked much outrage on social media in the recent years with people using it to portray black characters for Halloween.  

South Africa has had its fair share of such experiences. In the 2005, movie Mama Jack, comedian Leon Schuster portrayed a black domestic worker. In an interview with Sunday Times this year, Schuster said he would never do blackface in his acts again.

In 2012 Die Antwoord also got backlash after Yolandi Visser wore blackface in the duo's 2012 music video Fatty boom boom. 

Twitter was divided on the issue. Some expressed their disgust with the Polish show while other's pointed out that Drake himself has used blackface.