Self-described socially conscious rapper Macklemore has issued an apology after upsetting some in the Jewish community with an “incognito” performance, which saw him don a costume which some — including comedian Seth Rogen — have condemned as “anti-Semitic” and a caricature of Jewish elder stereotypes.
Taking to his blog, Macklemore has responded to the allegations, explaining the “misunderstood” act came about after he decided to dress up in disguise for a surprise show at the EMP Museum in Seattle, “so that I could walk around unnoticed and surprise the crowd with a short performance”.
“I picked up a bunch of fake mustaches and beards and grabbed a left over wig from our recent trip to Japan. As it turns out the fake noses they sell at the costume store are usually big (my nose didn’t fit most of them). So I ended up with a big witch nose. I went with a black beard, because that’s the furthest color from my natural hair. Disguise was the intention. I thought I looked very ambiguous.”
“The character I dressed up as had no intended cultural identity or background,” he stresses. “I wasn’t attempting to mimic any culture, nor resemble one. A ‘Jewish stereotype’ never crossed my mind.” He also advises readers that the situation has seen him get “hip” to organisations such as anti-Semitism fighters the Anti-Defamation League
Before apologising, the rapper asserts that the images of his costume were “sensationalized”.
Habitual good guy and stoner moral compass Seth Rogen blasted the Thrift Shop rapper’s allegedly anti-Semitic costume in a series of tweets. Posting an image from the performance, Rogen jabbed, “First you trick people into thinking you’re a rapper, now you trick them into thinking you’re Jewish?”
Apparently unaware of what he had done, it took some time for Macklemore to acknowledge the comedian’s ire, explaining in a tweet of his own that his costume of “a fake witches [sic] nose, wig, and beard” was merely a “random costume” and not his “idea of a stereotype of anybody.”
But Rogen was quick to shoot this one down, responding, “really?? Because if I told someone to put together an anti Semitic Jew costume, they’d have that exact shopping list.” Macklemore’s performance has come as a surprise to many, as he has long preached a message of tolerance.
Watch: Macklemore – EMP Museum in Seattle
Photos: Macklemore/Future Music Festival 2014 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane 01/03/014 / Photographed by Rebecca Reid
Macklemore Apologises After "Anti-Semitic" Costume Row - Music Feeds
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 18, 2014
.@macklemore really?? Because if I told someone to put together an anti Semitic Jew costume, they'd have that exact shopping list.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 19, 2014
My thoughts on the costume I wore on Friday night and the story that followed… http://t.co/qetbdE9mMy
— Macklemore (@macklemore) May 20, 2014