Macklemore apologizes for wearing anti-Semitic costume on stage
Multi-Grammy Award-winning rapper Macklemore apologized last night for dressing up as an offensive Jewish caricature in a Friday performance.
The hip-hop artist appeared at a Seattle venue wearing a bowl wig, dark beard, and a large, prosthetic nose while performing his hit song, "Thrift Shop," and was swiftly chastised by Jewish organizations, anti-defamation groups, media outlets, and music fans.
Macklemore was "dressed as the embodiment of a Nazi propaganda flyer about the dangers of the all powerful greedy Jew," according to the Jewish Daily Forward.
The Anti-Defamation League said that the costume "reminded many people of an antisemitic caricature."
Comedian Seth Rogen even weighed in, tweeting, "First you trick people into thinking you're a rapper, now you trick them into thinking you're Jewish?"
Early Monday morning, Macklemore addressed the controversy by denying that the costume was anti-Semitic.
"A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody," he tweeted.
But Monday night, he issued an apology acknowledging that his performance attire was offensive.
"I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature," he wrote in a statement.
"I am here to say that it was not absolutely not my intention, and unfortunately at the time I did not foresee the costume to be viewed in such regard. I'm saddened that this story, or any of my choices, would lead to any form of negativity."
The "Same Love" rapper emphasized that he embraces all people, and does not hate anyone.
"I respect all cultures and all people," he said. "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."
The Anti-Defamation League responded with their own statement, accepting Macklemore's apology.
"We take him at his word that he did not have any ill intent," director Abe Foxman said in the release.