Macklemore issues statement after being accused of anti-Semitism

The singer went onstage in a costume that some thought evoked Jewish stereotypes

Macklemore has issued an apology after being accused of anti-Semitism for performing a gig in fancy dress that some claimed evoked Jewish stereotypes.

The rapper appeared alongside Ryan Lewis at the launch of a new exhibition called ‘Spectacle: The Music Video’ at Seattle’s Experience Music Project museum on Friday (May 16). He arrived onstage for the 15-minute surprise gig wearing a prosthetic nose, and fake beard and wig.

His choice of outfit to perform ‘Thrift Store’ during the 15-minute concert drew criticism from a number of sources, including actor and comedian Seth Rogen, who tweeted:


.@macklemore, first you trick people into thinking you’re a rapper, now you trick them into thinking you’re Jewish?

— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 18, 2014

Macklemore went on the deny that his outfit choice was a ‘stereotype’, calling it simply a ‘random costume’. He wrote on Twitter: “A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.”

However, the rapper has now issued an apology on his website, saying that he picked a costume at random so he could “go incognito” at the event, so he could surprise fans when he got onstage.

“Family, friends and fans alike who know me well, know that I’m absolutely not the person described in certain headlines today,” he wrote. “There is no worse feeling than being misunderstood, especially when people are hurt or offended.”

He continued: “My intention was to dress up and surprise the people at the show with a random costume and nothing more. Thus, it was surprising and disappointing that the images of a disguise were sensationalised leading to the immediate assertion that my costume was anti-Semetic. I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature. I am here to say that it was 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.”


Read Macklemore’s full statement here.