Anti-semitism? Rapper Macklemore has apologized after taking the stage in his hometown of Seattle wearing a dark wig, big beard and fake hooked nose as part of a costume that many saw as a collection of offensive Jewish stereotypes.
According to reports, Macklemore “looked an awful lot like a hoary old anti-Semitic Jewish caricature” while giving a surprise performance at Seattle’s EMP Museum last Friday, May 16. Macklemore and his producing partner Ryan Lewis performed at the opening night of the “Spectacle: The Music Video” exhibition at the EMP Museum in Seattle.
The Grammy Award winning Seattle rapper, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, is known for popular hits like “Same Love” and “Thrift Shop.”
Actor Seth Rogen (who is Jewish himself) weighed in, tweeting, “@macklemore, first you trick people into thinking you’re a rapper, now you trick them into thinking you’re Jewish?” He also retweeted a post by rapper Jensen Karp: “What makes Macklemore’s anti-Semitic costume even crazier is that his biggest song is about saving money.”
Macklemore posted an apology on his website late Monday, saying he didn’t mean to mock Jewish people by wearing a costume that some say was anti-Semitic during a performance in Seattle last week.
Macklemore wrote that he randomly chose the pieces of the costume he wore at Friday’s performance so that he could disguise himself and move freely around during the secret show. He said it wasn’t meant to be a caricature of a Jewish man.
“I respect all cultures and all people,” he wrote. “I would never intentionally put down anybody for the fabric that makes them who they are. I love human beings, love originality, and … happen to love a weird outfit from time to time.”
What do you think? Anti-semitism? Poor judgement? Much ado about nothing? Leave a comment – express yourself.
Macklemore – One of the Voices United for Separation of Church and State.